On 20 September 2017, H.E. Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, H.E. Mr. Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, Foreign Minister of Brazil, H.E. Mr. Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor and Federal Foreign Minister of Germany, and H.E. Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, Minister for External Affairs of India, gathered to consider ways to accelerate reform of the United Nations Security Council on the occasion of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The G4 Ministers reaffirmed the need for an early reform of the Council including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, the improvement of working methods and the Council’s representativeness as well as enhanced role of developing countries and major contributors to the United Nations, in order to make the Council more legitimate, effective and representative. Recognizing that the number of the United Nations Member States has increased from 51 in 1945 to 193 today and that the current composition of the Council does not reflect the changed global realities, the Ministers stressed that the Council needs to reflect today’s world in order to be able to tackle today’s complex challenges.
The Ministers reiterated their commitments as aspiring new permanent members of a reformed Council, as well as their support for each other’s candidatures.
The Ministers expressed their appreciation for the initiatives by the Co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) of the 71st session of the General Assembly, including finalizing “Elements of Commonality and Issues for Further Consideration”. The Ministers agreed that all aspects of comprehensive reform had been thoroughly discussed by the end of the 71st session of the General Assembly. Therefore, the Ministers expressed their conviction that it was time to move to the next phase and initiate text-based negotiations during the 72nd session of the General Assembly, which marks the 10th year of the IGN and 25th year of consistent debate and consideration by the General Assembly.
The Ministers welcomed the commitment of Secretary-General António Guterres to launch reforms to render the United Nations fit for the 21st century and, in this context, recalled that an essential element of the overall efforts to reform the United Nations remains the reform of its Security Council. The Ministers expressed their readiness to extend full support for H.E. Dr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd session of the General Assembly, to advance the IGN to the next stage, which is text-based negotiations, and also welcomed the commitment of H.E. Dr. Lajčák to ongoing reform processes.
The Ministers exchanged their assessment on their interaction and cooperation with like-minded countries on various occasions, including the Group of Friends meetings on Security Council reform. They were encouraged by the fact that the overwhelming majority of Member States support the initiation of text-based negotiations with a view to realizing an early reform of the Council and that the majority of Member States are in support of expanding both categories of its membership. The Ministers agreed on the need for highlighting the support expressed by many Member States to the African Common Position. In this regard, the Ministers agreed to redouble their efforts to cooperate with all Member States of the United Nations, especially with like-minded countries to realize Security Council reform expeditiously.
The Ministers welcomed the adoption of Note by the President of the Security Council (S/2017/507) on 30 August 2017, as a concrete step towards improving working methods of the Council and appreciated Japan’s initiative for revising the Note.
In conclusion, the Ministers reiterated their resolve to encourage launching text-based negotiations during the 72nd session of the General Assembly. The Ministers agreed that they will accelerate dialogues between the G4 and other like-minded countries and groups, in order to gain further momentum toward such negotiations.
The Ministers instructed their respective Director-Generals to implement their agreement, in close coordination with their Permanent Representatives to the United Nations.
20 September 2017