Map of G4 countries
|Type||Political, regional cooperative alliance|
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.
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. Cumulatively, the G4 has spent 64 years on the Security Council since the UN's inception, with each country serving at least a decade. By comparison, the three permanent members of the Security Council who have maintained their seats since the UN's founding (France, the UK, and the US) have each accrued 74 years of membership. The People's Republic of China has held its permanent seat for 48 years, since it replaced the Republic of China in 1971, and Russia has held its permanent seat for 27 years, since it replaced the Soviet Union in 1991.
|Comparison of G4 and P5 Members|
|Country||% of World
|Area||GDP (PPP)1||GDP (nominal)1||UN funding2||UN
|Brazil||G4||2.8% (5th)||8,515,767 km2 (5th)||$3,550 (8th)||$1,960 (9th)||2.94% (8th)||1,305 (20th)||$27.8 (12nd)||334,500 (16th)||YES||N NO||–|
|China||P5||18.8% (1st)||9,596,961 km2 (3rd)||$20,853 (1st)||$11,383 (2nd)||7.92% (3rd)||2,521 (11th)||$215.0 (2nd)||2,333,000 (1st)||YES||YES||260 (4th)|
|France||P5||0.9% (22nd)||640,679 km2 (42nd)||$2,703 (10th)||$2,465 (7th)||4.86% (5th)||743 (30th)||$50.9 (7th)||222,200 (24th)||YES||YES||300 (3rd)|
|Germany||G4||1.1% (17th)||357,114 km2 (62nd)||$3,935 (5th)||$3,468 (4th)||6.39% (4th)||528 (38th)||$39.4 (9th)||186,450 (28th)||N NO||N NO||–|
|India||G4||17.7% (2nd)||3,287,263 km2 (7th)||$10,542 (3rd)||$2,610 (6th)||0.74% (22nd)||6,097(4th)||$55.9 (5th)||1,325,000 (3rd)||YES||YES||110–120 (7th)|
|Japan||G4||1.7% (11th)||377,973 km2 (61st)||$4,901(4th)||$4,413 (3rd)||9.68% (2nd)||4 (111th)||$40.9 (8th)||247,150 (21st)||N NO||N NO||–|
|Russia||P5||2.0% (9th)||17,098,246 km2 (1st)||$3,685 (6th)||$1,133 (14th)||3.09% (9th)||71 (71st)||$66.4 (4th)||845,000 (5th)||YES||YES||7,300 (1st)|
|United Kingdom||P5||0.9% (21st)||242,495 km2 (78th)||$2,757 (9th)||$2,761 (5th)||4.46% (6th)||570 (37th)||$55.5 (6th)||169,150 (32nd)||YES||YES||215 (5th)|
|United States||P5||4.4% (3rd)||9,833,517 km2 (4th)||$18,558 (2nd)||$18,558 (1st)||22.00% (1st)||34 (82nd)||$597.0 (1st)||1,492,200 (2nd)||YES||YES||6,970 (2nd)|
|1$US billions 2Percent contributed to total UN budget 3Germany takes part in NATO nuclear weapons sharing agreement|
All the permanent members of P5 have supported India's bids for permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) but China had previously implied that it is only ready to support India's bid for a permanent seat on United Nations Security Council if India did not associate its bid with Japan.
The United States has sent strong indications to Brazil that it was willing to support its membership; albeit, without a veto. 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. Brazil has received backing from three of the current permanent members, namely France, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
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".
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, Russia and Korea who think that Japan still needs to make additional atonement for war crimes committed during World War II.
Under the leadership of Italy, countries that strongly oppose the G4 countries' bids have formed the Uniting for Consensus movement, or the Coffee Club, composed mainly of regional powers that oppose the rise of some nearby country to permanent member status.
In Europe, Bulgaria, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Malta, Hungary, Greece, Serbia and the Czech Republic, oppose a seat for Germany. In Africa, Namibia also opposes Germany's bid. In Latin America, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia, Uruguay and Mexico are opposing a seat for Brazil. In South Asia, Pakistan opposes India's bid, owing to the adversarial relation between the two nationals.
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.
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.
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. 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.
On 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. In 2017, it was reported that the G4 nations were willing to temporarily forgo veto power if granted a permanent UNSC seat.
On September 2019 in a joint press statement, during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, 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.
Current ministerial leaders
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- Membership of the Security Council Archived 6 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- List of members of the United Nations Security Council
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