On 25 September 2019 the Foreign Ministers of the G4 countries, H.E. Mr. Ernesto Araújo, Foreign Minister of Brazil, H.E. Mr. Heiko Maas, Federal Foreign Minister of Germany, H.E. Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister for External Affairs of India, and H.E. Mr. Motegi Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, met during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
2. The G4 Ministers reiterated their strong commitment to an early and comprehensive reform of the Security Council, as envisaged by Heads of State and Government in the 2005 World Summit. They highlighted the importance of efforts aimed at reforming the United Nations and updating its main decision-making bodies, in order to better reflect the contemporary realities. The G4 Ministers also emphasized that an expansion of the Security Council in both categories is indispensable to make this body more representative, legitimate and effective, enhancing therefore its capacity to deal with the complex challenges the world faces today on questions of international peace and security.
3. The G4 Ministers reviewed the recent efforts undertaken in the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on the United Nations Security Council. They expressed their concern with the fact that, although the African Common position is better reflected, more than 10 years after the beginning of the IGN, no concrete result has been achieved. They concluded that the recent session demonstrated once again that the IGN lacks the necessary openness and transparency and is constrained by flawed working methods. In view of the fact that 40 years have passed since the inscription of the item “Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Security Council” on the agenda of the General Assembly in 1979, the G4 Ministers underscored that time has come to leave behind debates based solely on general statements, without substantive negotiation. They also noted that an overwhelming majority of UN Member States firmly support a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, and rightfully expect the IGN to be a more result-oriented process.
4. Bearing in mind that in 2020 the United Nations will celebrate its 75th anniversary, the G4 Ministers 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, that was made in the 2005 World Summit by all the Heads of State and Government. This reform should include not only the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, but also measures to increase the transparency and effectiveness of the work of the Security Council. The Ministers reiterated their support for each other’s candidatures as aspiring new permanent members in a reformed Security Council given the capacity and willingness to take on major responsibilities with regard to the maintenance of international peace and security. There is a clear need for an enhanced role of developing countries and of major contributors to the United Nations to make the Council more legitimate, effective and representative.
5. The G4 welcomed the commitment of H.E. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the 74th session of the General Assembly, to move the reform process forward. They expressed their full support to H.E. Mr. Muhammad-Bande, and reiterated their request for the working methods of the IGN to be updated and text-based negotiations to be launched soon, based on a single comprehensive text reflecting positions and proposals by Member States that have been amply outlined over the last ten years.
6. The G4 Ministers underlined discussion on Security Council reform should follow the General Assembly’s standard operating procedures in a democratic and transparent manner. The IGN should be guided by the decision-making requirements and working methods laid out in the Charter of the United Nations and in the rules and procedures of the General Assembly. G4 ministers also stressed that sufficient time should be given to Member States to negotiate, making use of the whole calendar of the General Assembly, starting as soon as possible and ending in the final stages of the 74th session of the General Assembly. The Ministers emphasized that the G4 will continue its engagement with other reform-minded countries and groups in order to make substantive progress by starting text-based negotiations.
7. The G4 Ministers underscored their steadfast support for Africa’s representation in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of a reformed and expanded Security Council. The G4 Ministers also emphasized that this enhanced representation is the only way to correct the historical injustice against this continent with regard to its under-representation in the Security Council. In this regard, they once again expressed their support for adequately reflecting the African Common Position, as contained in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.
8. The Ministers expressed their determination to seek concrete outcomes during the 74th session of the General Assembly, instructing their delegations to support the efforts of the President of the General Assembly to promote early reform of the Security Council.