The UK, France and Nepal on 13 November 2014 supported candidature of India, Germany, Brazil and Japan (G4 nations) for permanent member of a reformed UN Security Council (UNSC). They also emphasized African representation and expansion of the non-permanent seats.
The decision to support the G4 nation’s candidature was expressed by these nations during the debate Equitable Representation and Increase in Security Council in the UN General Assembly.
During the debate many participating nations noted that it had been 50 years since the council underwent its first and only reform and almost 10 years since the 2005 World Summit, where the world leaders agreed to initiate a reform process.
India repeated that there is an urgent need to achieve reform of the powerful UN body by 2015 and a text should be tabled for the member states to begin actual negotiations on UNSC reform and expansion as it described an unreformed Security Council as a seriously impaired organ.
India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Asoke Mukerji highlighting the shortfalls of an unreformed Security Council said that even in the area of its core competence, the 15-nation body is unable to act with credibility essentially due to its unrepresentative nature.
Why UNSC reforms needed?
The UNSC reform has been on the agenda of the UN since 1993 and it encompasses five key issues. These are:
• UNSC still reflects the geopolitical architecture of the Second World War. Since the UNSC’s creation, however, new centers of power have risen
• UNSC expanded only once in 1965. Originally, there were 11 seats consisting of five permanent and six non-permanent seats. Since the 1965 enlargement, the UNSC seats total 15, with four added non-permanent seats but no changes were made with regards to the permanent seats.
• Membership of the United Nations has increased from 118 in 1965 to 193 without any change in the composition of the UNSC. This is the main reason why the UNSC should be enlarged once again.
• Representation in the UNSC, as far as the permanent members (China, France, Russian Federation, UK and USA) are concerned, is not proportional, neither geographically nor in terms of population or number of UN members per region. No permanent member from Africa, despite 75 percent of work of the UNSC focused on Africa.
• Unable to respond effectively to situations of international conflict.
• Considerable doubt now that the original reasons for establishing permanent membership and giving the extraordinary veto power to those Five any longer has relevance.
G-4 nation proposal for UNSC reforms
The Group of Four (G4) consists of four countries aspiring to permanent seats without veto power in a UNSC expanded to 25 members. The Group of Four includes Japan, Germany, India and Brazil.
These countries are seen as the candidates most likely to gain a permanent seat if more are created. Japan contributes the second largest sum to the UN's regular budget, and Germany is the third largest contributor.
India has the world's second largest population and is the world’s largest democracy. Also, it is one of the world’s largest economies and is the third largest contributor of troops to UN peace-keeping missions.
In Latin America, Brazil is the largest country in terms of territory, and it also has the largest population and economy.
The G4’s aspirations are supported by three out of the five permanent UNSC members, namely the UK, France and Russia.
When: on 13 November 2014
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