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G4 Nations.svg
Map of G4 countries
TypePolitical cooperative alliance
PurposeTo get a permanent seat at the UNSC
HeadquartersUnited Nations
Official language

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.[1]


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.[2] Cumulatively, the G4 has spent 64 years on the Security Council since the UN's inception, with each country serving at least a decade.[3] 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 75 years of membership. The People's Republic of China has held its permanent seat for 49 years, since it replaced the Republic of China in 1971, and Russia has held its permanent seat for 28 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[4] UN funding2 UN
 Brazil G4 Nations 62.8% (5th) 68,515,767 km2 (5th) 3$3,550 (8th) 2$1,847 (9th) 32.94% (8th) 71,305 (20th) $27.8 (12th) 5 334,500 (16th) Green tickY YES Red XN NO 3
 China P5 918.8% (1st) 69,596,961 km2 (4th) 9$20,853 (1st) 8$14,140 (2nd) 77.92% (3rd) 82,521 (11th) $215.0 (2nd) 92,333,000 (1st) Green tickY YES Green tickY YES 6260 (4th)
 France P5 20.9% (22nd) 6640,679 km2 (42nd) 1$2,703 (10th) 4$2,465 (7th) 54.86% (5th) 743 (30th) $50.9 (7th) 3 222,200 (24th) Green tickY YES Green tickY YES 7300 (3rd)
 Germany G4 31.1% (17th) 6357,114 km2 (62nd) 5$3,935 (5th) 6$3,863 (4th) 66.39% (4th) 5528 (38th) $39.4 (9th) 2 186,450 (28th) Red XN NO Red XN NO 2
 India G4 817.7% (2nd) 63,287,263 km2 (7th) 7$10,542 (3rd) 3$2,935 (5th) 10.74% (22nd) 6,097(4th) $77.1 (3rd) 71,444,000 (2nd) Green tickY YES Green tickY YES 4130–140 (6th)
 Japan G4 41.7% (11th) 6377,973 km2 (61st) 6$4,901(4th) 7$5,154 (3rd) 89.68% (2nd) 34 (111th) $40.9 (8th) 4 247,150 (21st) Red XN NO Red XN NO 1
 Russia P5 42.0% (9th) 617,098,246 km2 (1st) 4$3,685 (6th) 1$1,637 (11th) 23.09% (9th) 71 (71st) $66.4 (4th) 6845,000 (5th) Green tickY YES Green tickY YES 97,300 (1st)
 United Kingdom P5 10.9% (21st) 6242,495 km2 (78th) 2$2,757 (9th) 5$2,743 (6th) 44.46% (6th) 4570 (37th) $55.5 (6th) 1 169,150 (32nd) Green tickY YES Green tickY YES 5215 (5th)
 United States P5 74.4% (3rd) 69,833,517 km2 (3rd) 8$18,558 (2nd) 9$21,439 (1st) 922.00% (1st) 34 (82nd) 9$597.0 (1st) 81,400,200 (3rd) Green tickY YES Green tickY YES 86,970 (2nd)
1$US billions 2Percent contributed to total UN budget 3Germany takes part in NATO nuclear weapons sharing agreement



The United Kingdom and France have backed the G4's bid for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.[5] Japan has received support from the United States[6] and the United Kingdom.[7]

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.[8][9][10][11]

The United States has sent strong indications to Brazil that it was willing to support its membership; albeit, without a veto.[12] 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.[13] Brazil has received backing from three of the current permanent members, namely France,[14][15] Russia,[16][17] and the United Kingdom.[18][15]

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".[19]

As stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi in January 2020: "I would say the Security Council's main shortcoming is the under-representation of developing countries. We reiterate our position that India and Brazil absolutely deserve to be on the council together with an African candidate, our position is that the purpose of the reform is to make sure that the developing countries enjoy a better treatment in the central organ of the United Nations".[20]


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,[21] North Korea, Russia and South Korea who think that Japan still needs to make additional atonement for war crimes committed during World War II.

Under the leadership of Italy,[22] 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. India is currently not opposed by any P5 nation. In Europe, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Spain, oppose a seat for Germany. In Africa, Namibia also opposes Germany's bid. In Latin America, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela are opposing a seat for Brazil. In Asia, Pakistan and Turkey oppose India's bid[citation needed].


The G4 and P5 members as a future reformed UNSC
The G4 and P5 members as a future reformed UNSC

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.[23][24]

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.[citation needed]

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.[25][26] 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.[citation needed]

In 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.[27] In 2017, it was reported that the G4 nations were willing to temporarily forgo veto power if granted a permanent UNSC seat.[28]

In 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.[29]

Current leaders of the G4 Nations

The following are the head of state and head of government that represent the members of the G4 Nations as of 2020:

Current ministerial leaders

Member Foreign minister Name Defense minister Name
 Brazil Minister of Foreign Affairs Ernesto Araújo Minister of Defense Fernando Azevedo e Silva
 Germany Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas Minister of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
 India Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh
 Japan Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi Minister of Defence Nobuo Kishi

See also


  1. ^ "Japan Says No to G4 Bid". 7 January 2006. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  2. ^ Membership of the Security Council Archived 6 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ List of members of the United Nations Security Council
  4. ^ "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2019". International Monetary Fund. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Joint UK-France Summit Declaration". British Prime Minister’s Office. 27 March 2008. Archived from the original on 9 September 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  6. ^ US backs Japan's UNSC bid despite setback to momentum, People's Daily, 19 April 2005
  7. ^ UK backs Japan for UNSC bid Archived 21 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Central Chronicle, 11 January 2007
  8. ^ "China Should Back India for a Permanent UN Security Council Seat".
  9. ^ China supports India's bid for UNSC seat: Wen.
  10. ^ Krishnan, Ananth (16 July 2011). "China ready to support Indian bid for UNSC". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  11. ^ "Countries Welcome Work Plan as Security Council Reform Process Commences New Phase". Center for UN Reform Education.
  12. ^ "Powell: Brazil Not Developing Nukes" Archived 11 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Fox News Channel. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
  13. ^ "Global Brazil and U.S.-Brazil Relations". Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  14. ^ "France and Brazil" Archived 10 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
  15. ^ a b "Joint UK-France Summit Declaration". British Prime Minister's Office. 27 March 2008. Archived from the original on 9 September 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  16. ^ "Putin in Brazil" Archived 24 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Brazzil. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
  17. ^ "Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to questions at a plenary session of the Raisina Dialogue international conference, New Delhi, January 15, 2020".
  18. ^ "UK backs Brazil as permanent Security Council member", 10 Downing Street., 27 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
  19. ^ "BRICS divulga "Declaração de Brasília"". G1. 14 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to questions at a plenary session of the Raisina Dialogue international conference, New Delhi, January 15, 2020".
  21. ^ Allying with Japan at Security Council is India's 'Biggest Mistake': Chinese Media
  22. ^ "Players and Proposals in the Security Council Debate", Global Policy Forum, 3 July 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  23. ^ Africa's Battle for Power in the Security Council, United Nations Radio, 21 July 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2006. Archived 27 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Africa: Security Council Expansion, AfricaFocus Bulletin, 30 April 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  25. ^ International Review, Summer, 2006 by Emily Bruemmer
  26. ^ Japan Says No to G4 Bid, Global Policy Forum,, 7 Jan 2006
  27. ^ Sharma, Rajeev (27 September 2015). "India pushes the envelope at G4 Summit: PM Modi tells UNSC to make space for largest democracies". First Post. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  28. ^ "India Offers To Temporarily Forgo Veto Power If Granted Permanent UNSC Seat". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  29. ^ "Joint Press Statement, New York". Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 25 September 2019.
This page was last edited on 22 November 2020, at 03:43
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