Japan, Brazil, Germany and India, aspiring to become permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, on Wednesday renewed their call for an immediate restart of negotiations to reform the world body’s 15-member decision-making organ after the talks were adjourned due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The foreign ministers of the countries, collectively known as the Group of Four, stressed “the urgency of reforming the United Nations and updating its main decision-making bodies, in order to better reflect contemporary realities,” said a joint statement issued after their virtual meeting.
The ministers, meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, voiced “disappointment at attempts to derail this process and committed to addressing the issue in a meaningful way” as this year marks the 75th anniversary of the world body.
Japan has been working with the three other countries for years to have all four included as permanent U.N. Security Council members and increase the number of nonpermanent seats.
Intergovernmental talks on U.N. reforms started in 2009 but have not achieved much progress.
The Security Council currently consists of five permanent members who each hold veto power — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — and ten nonpermanent members elected for two-year terms.
Japan has said the Security Council should be more representative, noting that the number of its members only increased once in 1965, from 11 to 15, by adding more nonpermanent seats, although the United Nations now has 193 member states, up from 51 in 1945 when the New York-headquartered organization was established.
Toshimitsu Motegi from Japan, Ernesto Araujo from Brazil and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar from India took part in the teleconference, while Niels Annen, the German foreign ministry’s minister of state, sat in for Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.