G4 countries raise pitch for expansion of UNSC permanent members


With a focus on the outdated structure of the UN Security Council, the G4 countries including India have raised the pitch for the expansion of UNSC’s permanent members. The four countries—India, Germany, Japan and Brazil—said that the problem of “imbalance of influence” in the Council cannot be corrected if only non-permanent members are added to the powerful world body as part of its reform.

“We have heard some oft-repeated arguments that expansion in the permanent category would be ‘undemocratic’. In our view, expansion in both categories, particularly in the permanent category, is essential to reform the Security Council and make it democratic, legitimate, representative, responsive and effective”, India’s permanent representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said. He was speaking at the informal meeting of the General Assembly on Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Security Council reform. The G4 group issued a statement on May 2.

Focusing on the council’s present structure, Mr Akbaruddin stressed that the Security Council’s present structure does not reflect contemporary realities. He added that expansion in only the non-permanent category will not solve the problem presented by a Council whose structure and composition is “out of date” with present-day realities. He said that it is not representative of the major shifts in the geo-political and economic order. Speaking for the G4, he said that the group believes that the problem lies in the imbalance of influence between the permanent and non-permanent members within the Security Council.

Emphasising that expanding only in the non-permanent category is not going to solve the problem, Mr Akbaruddin said, “It will actually widen the difference between permanent and non-permanent members even more, tilting further the scales in favour of a dispensation that was valid in the special situation in 1945 but is no longer now.”

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