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At its 15th summit, in August 2023, the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) group adopted the Johannesburg II Declaration. Raised Reforming the United Nations, particularly its Security Council. It called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to be “more democratic, representative, effective and efficient and to increase the representation of developing countries”, including countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the BRICS group membership.
In order to expand the number of permanent members of the UNSC, the report specifically mentioned that three countries should be included: Brazil, India and South Africa. For at least the past 20 years, these three countries (all founding members of the BRICS) have sought entry into the UN Security Council as permanent members with veto power. Over the decades, their aspirations were frustrated, leading first to the formation of the IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa) group in 2003 and then the BRICS group in 2009.
The composition of the Security Council and which countries have veto power as permanent members of the UN. has been its central issue since its inception. In 1944, at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, the major Allied Powers (Britain, China, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the United States) met to discuss how to shape the UN and its main institutions. These states – also known as the “Big Four” – decided that they would have permanent seats in the UNSC and, after much deliberation, agreed that they would have the power to use a veto against the Council’s decisions. As the French government allied with the Nazis from 1940 to 1944, the United States insisted that France join the group, as it would later become known, even though the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was not interested in including France in its ranks. “The Big Five”. A UN Charter [1945ஆம்ஆண்டில்சான்பிரான்சிஸ்கோவில்கையெழுத்திட்டதுஇந்தஐந்துநாடுகளைநிரந்தரஉறுப்பினர்களாக(“P5″என்றும்அழைக்கப்படும்)மேலும்ஆறுநிரந்தரமற்றஉறுப்பினர்களுடன்பொதுச்சபையால்தேர்ந்தெடுக்கப்படும்23வதுசட்டத்தில்நிறுவப்பட்டதுஇரண்டுவருடகாலஅவகாசம்
In July 2005, a group of countries known as the G4 (Brazil, Germany, Japan and India). Resolution Raised the issue of UNSC reform in the UN General Assembly. Brazil’s Ambassador to the UN, Ronaldo Motta Sartenberg, he said “The experience accumulated since the founding of the United Nations has demonstrated that the power realities of 1945 have long since been superseded,” he told the Assembly.
The security system established then is now clearly out of date. The G4 proposed expanding the UNSC from 15 to 25 members, adding six permanent members and four non-permanent members. Most of the countries that spoke in the debate pointed to the fact that no country in Africa or Latin America has a permanent seat in the UNSC, which remains true to this day. Redressing this would be an act of considerable equity for the world.
To make this change, the UN The Charter requires the approval of two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly and the approval of their respective legislatures – this has only happened once, in 1965, when the Council was expanded from 11 to 15 members. The 2005 resolution was not put to a vote, and despite its approval, it was later shelved Resolution 2009 on “Equal Representation and Increasing the Membership of the Security Council and Related Matters”. However, these efforts opened a long-term dialogue that continues to this day.
The G4 countries were unable to muster sufficient support for their proposal as the current permanent members of the UN Security Council (Britain, China, Russia, the US and France) could not agree on which of their allies would occupy these seats. Even in 2005, there was a rift between the P5 countries with the US and its G7 allies (Britain and France) acting as a group against China and Russia. The US is willing to expand permanent seats on the council, but only if it brings its closest allies (Germany and Japan), which would allow the UNSC to be effectively dominated by five of the seven G7 members. Neither China nor Russia can accept this.
Today, as the issue of comprehensive UN reform gathers momentum, the U.S. government is again trying to co-opt the issue. We ask For expansion of the UN Security Council to combat Chinese and Russian influence. US President Joe Biden’s senior officials have openly said they are in favor of bringing their allies into the UN Security Council to upset the balance of debate and discussion. UN This approach to reform does not address fundamental issues raised by the Global South regarding international democracy and equitable geographical representation, particularly the call for permanent membership from Africa and Latin America.
In 2005, then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote: Report Entitled In great freedom [Em maior liberdade], in which he called for the expansion of the UNSC from 15 to 24 members. This expansion, according to him, should be done on a regional basis rather than assigning permanent seats along historical axes of power (like the Big Five). One of Annan’s proposed models would provide two permanent seats for Africa, two for Asia and the Pacific, one for Europe and one for the Americas. This allocation will more closely represent the regional distribution of the world’s population, with the UNSC’s center of gravity moving away from the most populous Africa (1.4 billion people) and Asia (4.7 billion people) and Europe (742 million). United States (1 billion).
Meanwhile, the UN Britain and France, the two permanent members of the Security Council, currently have populations of 67 million and 64 million respectively. It is puzzling that these two European countries – Europe’s most powerful country (economically, Germany) – do not maintain veto power despite their rapidly declining role in the world. The latest ones setbacks In France’s colonial ambitions in Africa, as well as its Disability From leading the European agenda for peace in Ukraine, show how this European country is becoming increasingly irrelevant in world affairs.
Similarly, Britain’s position in the world is declining with and after Brexit failure In providing a vision for a global Britain, however Anger It is correct to assume that it is a “middle-sized country” as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak used the term.
Britain and France’s permanent seats in the UNSC illustrate the timelessness of the council’s architecture, as neither country inspires confidence in providing leadership for security and development in the world.
“The gift is a white lie,” wrote Samih al-Qasim (1939-2014) in a poem. After the apocalypse. “To see the future, you have to consult the past,” he mused about his homeland, Palestine, and Israel’s occupation. The colonial past weighs heavily on the present. Because the Bank of France and the Bank of England are depositories of wealth stolen from the colonies, colonial power remains intact. What allows these former colonial powers, Britain and France, to remain masters of the present, even though the basis for that position has long been eroded? (It is worth noting that in addition to being nuclear powers, these countries are among the largest Arms exporters of the world.) The power these and other colonial powers acquired in the past is a hindrance to the needs of the present.
Having lost its place as the world’s most powerful country, the US seeks to maintain hereditary advantages (such as having close allies in the UN Security Council) and spends large sums of money on wars (in fact, for example, it is responsible for half of global arms spending).
Instead of implementing a more democratic and robust United Nations, the United States tries to neutralize this global institution, by dominating its forums or violating its charter, whenever it sees fit. At the recently concluded 78th session of the UN General Assembly, US President Joe Biden He spoke About the importance of “sovereignty, territorial integrity and human rights” – all three of which are routinely violated by the US through wars, sanctions and incarceration at Guantanamo Bay. Lacking moral authority, the United States uses its power to block the progress of democracy in institutions such as the United Nations.
So far, several proposals from all sides of the political spectrum have called for expanding the UNSC, which would require votes in the General Assembly and member state legislatures. It is much easier to create equity in the Council if two members leave the table and give up their seats to countries in Africa and Latin America that are not represented among the permanent members.
* Vijay Prasad is an Indian historian and journalist, Director General of the Tricontinental Institute of Social Research.
** This is a comment text. The author’s point of view does not necessarily reflect the editorial line of the newspaper Brazil indeed.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho
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