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The G4 nations, comprising Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan, are four countries which support each other's bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council. Unlike the G7, where the common denominator is the economy and long-term political motives, the G4's primary aim is the permanent member seats on the Security Council. Each of these four countries have figured among the elected non-permanent members of the council since the UN's establishment. Their economic and political influence has grown significantly in the last decades, reaching a scope comparable to the permanent members (P5). However, the G4's bids are often opposed by the Uniting for Consensus movement, and particularly their economic competitors or political rivals.[1]

Background

The UN currently has five permanent members with veto power in the Security Council: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – comprising the victors of World War II. The G4 nations are regularly elected to two-year terms on the Security Council as non-permanent members by their respective regional groups: in the 24-year period from 1987 to 2010, Brazil and Japan were elected for five terms each, Germany for four terms (one term as West Germany and three terms as unified Germany) and India for four terms.[2] Cumulatively, the G4 has spent 64 years on the Security Council since the UN's inception, with each country serving at least a decade.[3]

UN emblem blue.svg Comparison of G4 and P5 nations
Country data Brazil
BRA
China
CHN
France
FRA
Germany
DEU
India
IND
Japan
JPN
Russia
RUS
United Kingdom
GBR
United States
USA
G4 nation or
P5 nation
G4 P5 P5 G4 G4 G4 P5 P5 P5
Population 2.7%
5th
17.9%
1st
0.9%
22nd
1.1%
17th
17.5%
2nd
1.6%
11th
1.9%
9th
0.9%
21st
4.2%
3rd
Territory 8 515 767 km2
5th
9 596 961 km2
4th
640 679 km2
42nd
357 114 km2
62nd
3 287 263 km2
7th
377 973 km2
61st
17 098 246 km2
1st
242 495 km2
78th
9 833 517 km2
3rd
GDP (PPP) (US$trillion) $3.44
8th
$27.07
1st
$3.32
9th
$4.47
5th
$10.18
3rd
$5.63
4th
$4.45
6th
$3.28
10th
$22.94
2nd
GDP (nominal) (US$trillion) $1.445
12th
$14.723
2nd
$2.603
7th
$3.806
4th
$2.623
6th
$5.065
3rd
$1.483
11th
$2.708
5th
$20.937
1st
UN funding1 2.95%
8th
12.01%
2nd
4.43%
6th
6.09%
4th
0.83%
21st
8.56%
3rd
2.41%
10th
4.57%
5th
22.00%
1st
UN peacekeeping funding2 0.59%
19th
15.22%
2nd
5.61%
6th
6.09%
4th
0.17%
38th
8.56%
3rd
3.04%
8th
5.79%
5th
27.89%
1st
UN peacekeepers 282
47th
2,531
9th
706
30th
504
37th
5,353
5th
6
105th
70
70th
279
48th
33
78th
Defence budget (US$billion) $19.7
15th
$252.0
2nd
$52.7
8th
$52.8
7th
$72.9
3rd
$49.1
9th
$61.7
4th
$59.2
5th
$778.0
1st
Military (active) 366,500
13th
2,185,000
1st
203,250
22nd
183,500
27th
1,455,550
2nd
247,150
18th
1,014,000
5th
148,500
34th
1,388,100
3rd
Military (reserve) 1,340,000
4th
510,000
9th
36,300
50th
28,250
53rd
1,155,000
5th
56,000
41st
2,000,000
2nd
80,000
35th
844,950
7th
Active space program Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Helicopter carriers projects Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY
Aircraft carriers projects Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Nuclear submarines projects Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Active nuclear arsenal Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Red XN3 Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Global Firepower Index[4] 9th 3rd 7th 15th 4th 5th 2nd 8th 1st
1share of annual UN budget 2share of funding for UN peacekeeping 3Germany takes part in NATO nuclear weapons sharing agreement

Opinions

Support

The United Kingdom and France have backed the G4's bid for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.[5] Japan has received support from the United States[6] and the United Kingdom.[7]

All the permanent members of P5 have supported India's bids for permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), but China has previously implied that it is only ready to support India's bid for a permanent seat on United Nations Security Council if India does not associate its bid with Japan.[8][9][10][11]

The United States has sent strong indications to Brazil that it is willing to support its membership; albeit, without a veto.[12] The Council on Foreign Relations recommended that the U.S. government fully endorse the inclusion of Brazil as a permanent member of the Security Council.[13] Brazil has received backing from three of the current permanent members, namely France,[14][15] Russia,[16][17] and the United Kingdom.[18][15]

In the final document of the 2019 BRICS summit, China and Russia say they "reiterate the importance of a comprehensive Security Council reform" and "support Brazil and India's aspiration for more relevant UN roles".[19]

As stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi in January 2020: "I would say the Security Council's main shortcoming is the under-representation of developing countries. We reiterate our position that India and Brazil absolutely deserve to be on the council together with an African candidate, our position is that the purpose of the reform is to make sure that the developing countries enjoy a better treatment in the central organ of the United Nations".[20]

Opposition

There has been discontent among the present permanent members regarding the inclusion of controversial nations or countries not supported by them. For instance, Japan's bid is heavily opposed by China,[21] North Korea, Russia and South Korea who think that Japan still needs to make additional atonement for war crimes committed during World War II.

Under the leadership of Italy,[22] countries that strongly oppose the G4 countries' bids have formed the Uniting for Consensus movement, or the Club, composed mainly of regional powers that oppose the rise of some nearby country to permanent member status. Uniting for Consensus supports expanding the number of non-permanent security council members and restricting the usage of the veto. The bloc argues that adding more permanent seats to the security council only benefits the nations that gain those seats, and believes that an expansion of the non-permanent membership will make the UNSC both more flexible and more democratic.[23] India is currently not opposed by any P5 nation. In Europe, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Spain, oppose a seat for Germany. In Africa, Namibia also opposes Germany's bid. In Latin America, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela oppose a seat for Brazil. In Asia, Pakistan opposes India's bid.[24]

Another counter-proposal, the Ezulwini Consensus, was presented by the African Union, calling for the addition of five new non-permanent seats and two new permanent seats to be allocated to African nations, in response to a lack of African representation on the Security Council.[25]

Activity

The G4 and P5 members as a future reformed UNSC

The G4 suggested that two African nations, in addition to themselves, be included in the enlarged UNSC. In several conferences during the summer of 2005, African Union was unable to agree on two nominees: Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa all lay claim to a permanent African UNSC seat.[26][27]

A UN General Assembly in September 2005 marked the 60th anniversary of the UN and the members were to decide on a number of necessary reforms—including the enlarged Security Council. However the unwillingness to find a negotiable position stopped even the most urgent reforms; the September 2005 General Assembly was a setback for the UN.[citation needed]

The G4 retain their goal of permanent UNSC membership for all four nations (plus two African nations). In January 2006, Japan announced it would not support putting the G4 resolution back on the table, not to interfere with any effort by the African Union to unite behind a single plan. And meanwhile, Japan's continuing relations with the G4 were not mutually exclusive.[28][29] G4 issued a joint statement on 12 February 2011, in which their foreign ministers agreed to seek concrete outcome in the current session of the UN General Assembly.[citation needed]

In September 2015, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, invited the leaders of the G4 for a summit following the adoption of UN General Assembly Decision 69/560 by consensus, which moved forward for the first time.[30] In 2017, it was reported that the G4 nations were willing to temporarily forgo veto power if granted a permanent UNSC seat.[31]

In September 2019, in a joint press statement during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in, the G4 ministers reiterated their strong commitment to an early and comprehensive reform of the UNSC. Bearing in mind that in 2020 the United Nations will celebrate its 75th anniversary, the G4 ministers also expressed their firm hope that the current session of the General Assembly will pave the way for finally moving on the call for an ‘early reform’ of the Security Council and underscored their steadfast support for Africa's representation in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of a future reform.[32]

Current leaders of the G4 Nations

The following are the head of state and head of government that represent the members of the G4 Nations as of 2020:

Current ministerial leaders

Member Foreign minister Name Defense minister Name
 Brazil Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Alberto França Minister of Defence Walter Souza Braga Netto
 Germany Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas Minister of Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
 India Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh
 Japan Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi

See also

References

  1. ^ "Japan Says No to G4 Bid". Globalpolicy.org. 7 January 2006. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  2. ^ Membership of the Security Council Archived 6 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ List of members of the United Nations Security Council
  4. ^ "Military Strength Ranking". Global Firepower. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Joint UK-France Summit Declaration". British Prime Minister’s. 27 March 2008. Archived from the original on 9 September 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  6. ^ US backs Japan's UNSC bid despite setback to momentum, People's Daily, 19 April 2005
  7. ^ UK backs Japan for UNSC bid Archived 21 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Central Chronicle, 11 January 2007
  8. ^ "China Should Back India for a Permanent UN Security Council Seat".
  9. ^ China supports India's bid for UNSC seat: Wen.
  10. ^ Krishnan, Ananth (16 July 2011). "China ready to support Indian bid for UNSC". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  11. ^ "Countries Welcome Work Plan as Security Council Reform Process Commences New Phase" Archived 27 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Center for UN Reform Education.
  12. ^ "Powell: Brazil Not Developing Nukes" Archived 11 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine News Channel. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
  13. ^ "Global Brazil and U.S.-Brazil Relations". Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  14. ^ "France and Brazil" Archived 10 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
  15. ^ a b "Joint UK-France Summit Declaration". British Prime Minister's. 27 March 2008. Archived from the original on 9 September 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  16. ^ "Putin in Brazil" Archived 24 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Brazzil. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
  17. ^ "Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to questions at a plenary session of the Raisina Dialogue international conference, New Delhi, January 15, 2020".
  18. ^ "UK backs Brazil as permanent Security Council member", 10 Downing ., 27 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
  19. ^ "BRICS divulga "Declaração de Brasília"". G1. 14 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to questions at a plenary session of the Raisina Dialogue international conference, New Delhi, January 15, 2020".
  21. ^ Allying with Japan at Security Council is India's 'Biggest Mistake': Chinese Media
  22. ^ "Players and Proposals in the Security Council Debate", Global Policy Forum, 3 July 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  23. ^ "'UNITING FOR CONSENSUS' GROUP OF STATES INTRODUCES TEXT ON SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". www.un.org. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  24. ^ Iqbal, Anwar (27 September 2020). "Pakistan opposes India's demand for UNSC seat". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  25. ^ "African Union. Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations and Regimes" (PDF). James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2021 – via archive.org.
  26. ^ Africa's Battle for Power in the Security Council, United Nations Radio, 21 July 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2006. Archived 27 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Africa: Security Council Expansion, AfricaFocus Bulletin, 30 April 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  28. ^ International Review, Summer, 2006 by Emily Bruemmer
  29. ^ Japan Says No to G4 Bid, Global Policy Forum, News24.com, 7 Jan 2006
  30. ^ Sharma, Rajeev (27 September 2015). "India pushes the envelope at G4 Summit: PM Modi tells UNSC to make space for largest democracies". First Post. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  31. ^ "India Offers To Temporarily Forgo Veto Power If Granted Permanent UNSC Seat". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  32. ^ "Joint Press Statement,". Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 25 September 2019.