Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his German, Brazil and Japanese counterparts for a meeting between the foreign ministers of the Group of Four (G4) countries. They met on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss issues related to reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).


About G-4 countries –

  • The G4 was formed in the year 2004. The members of the G4 countries include – India, Brazil, Germany and Japan. All members support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
  • Their economic and political influence has grown significantly in the last decades, reaching a scope comparable to the permanent members (P5)
  • G4 campaigns for UN Reforms, including more representation for developing countries, both in  the permanent and non-permanent categories in the UNSC.
  • France supports inclusion of G4 and an African representative as permanent member with no objection to the veto power being extended to new permanent members. UK supports G4 as new members but without veto power.
  • G4’s bids are often opposed by Uniting for Consensus movement or Coffee Club (ground 12 countries including Pakistan led by Italy) and particularly their economic competitors or political rivals.


Why are they demanding UNSC reforms?

  • UNSC reforms are imperative to ensure equitable representation and reflect the geopolitical and economic realities of the present world order. G4 countries represent the changing world and must be represented in UNSC.
  • USA is now in favour of permanent seat without veto power. UK shares similar view. France has been closest with intention to provide both seat and veto. Recently, U.S. President Biden emphasised U.S. support for expanding permanent and non-permanent seats on the Council, during his UNGA address.
  • Expanded members would have the same responsibilities and obligations, as current permanent members, thus making the council reflective of current order.


What are the challenges?

  • Resistance from P-5 countries as these countries are reluctant to share the exclusive power with new entrants.
  • Absence of consensus on complex issues such as the size of the expansion in the permanent and non-permanent categories, regional distribution, the working methods of the Security Council, its relationship with the UNGA, and veto powers.
  • Opposition from other countries – Pakistan along with the Uniting for Consensus (UFC) countries have been leading the opposition to India’s inclusion. UFC comprises of countries like Pakistan, Italy, Mexico, Egypt, South Korea etc.
  • China Factor — Rise of India threatens China by creating its own rival power structure. Hence, it does not want India to be a member of Security Council.