Context: The leaders of the G4 countries—India, Brazil, Japan and Germany—met in New York on Saturday in a summit convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The four leaders “strongly emphasized" that the process of reforming the United Nations (UN) Security Council should be conducted “in a fixed time-frame" to maintain its credibility. Significance of this summit:

  • Determination of G4: it marked the determination of the four nations to jointly pursue reforms without undermining the interests of each other. Powers like the UK and France hold much less salience in the maintenance of international peace and security, the primary objective of the Security Council.
  • The composition of G4 reflects the geopolitical realities of the 21st century


    • Diverging views: Differences are likely to hit G4 on the issue of reforms.
    • Reforms require 2/3rd vote of general assembly along with approval of P5 members.
    • Power of veto: For the Security Council to be more efficient, the power of veto has to be reviewed, especially if the proposed expansion takes place. The expansion of the veto power, however, should be undertaken carefully.
    • Geographic distribution: Even the G4 has no representation from Africa.


  • “Uniting for Consensus" a group with the negative agenda of stalling reforms had called for maintaining the status quo on permanent members until a consensus is reached.
  • The existing members are reluctant to dilute their positions of privilege, irrespective of what they may have committed to in bilateral summits.
Additional Information
  • UNSC: 
    • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN).
    • UNSC is charged with ensuring international peace and security, accepting new members to the United Nation and approving any changes to its charter.
    • Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations and international sanctions as well as the authorization of military actions through resolutions – it is the only body of the United Nations with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
    • Members: five permanent (China, France, Russia ,United Kingdom, USA) ,Along with the five permanent members, the Security Council of the United Nations has temporary members that hold their seats on a rotating basis by geographic region. Non-permanent members may be involved in global security briefings.
  • G4:  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. The G4's primary aim is the permanent member seats on the Security Council.    
  • Uniting for Consensus (UfC) is a movement, nicknamed the Coffee Club that developed in the 1990s in opposition to the possible expansion of permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council. Under the leadership of Italy, it aims to counter the bids for permanent seats proposed by G4 nations (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan) and is calling for a consensus before any decision is reached on the form and size of the Security Council.

India at the high table:

  • Better record on conflict resolution.
  • India is a country of strength and diversity: India, with a population of 1.2 billion, a $2 trillion economy, the third largest country in terms of purchasing power parity, a nuclear weapons power with the third largest standing army in the world, and a major contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping missions.
  • France, UK, and Russia have also supported India’s claims to permanent membership.
  • Inclusion of India and other deserving nations: it will infuse the council with a deeper understanding and enable a wiser response to the world’s cascading political crises, unlike the hasty and excessive militarism of the West.