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There is a broad consensus among the members of the United Nations that the Organization must be reformed in order to improve its capacity to respond to contemporary reality. In the field of peace and security, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) must be strengthened, since its structure, inherited from the Second World War, has not followed the evolution of the international scenario. Whereas in 1945 there were 51 States for a UNSC comprised of 11 members (i.e. 22% of the Organization's composition), today, there are 193 States for a UNSC composed of 15 members (i.e. 7.7%). The issue at hand is not a matter of extinguishing the Security Council, but of adapting it for the 21st century.

Brazil believes that only a truly representative and transparent Security Council, one that allows a greater degree of participation of the UN's Member States, will adequately reflect the current interests of the international community, in particular those of the developing countries. The admission of new permanent and non-permanent members, in the context of UNSC expansion, will help ensure the body's decisions, which affect the entire international community, are taken in a more balanced, legitimate, effective, inclusive and just way.

In the scope of this debate, which has intensified since the 1990s, Brazil has joined Germany, India and Japan and established with them the so-called G4 in 2004. As basic premises of the UNSC reform, the group advocates for the expansion in the categories of permanent and non-permanent members, including a greater number of developing countries in both, in order to better reflect today’s geopolitical realities. Based on the firmly shared recognition that they are legitimate candidates for permanent membership in an expanded Security Council, the four countries support each other's candidatures.

In 2005, the G4 presented to the United Nations a specific Security Council reform draft resolution (A/59/L.64), which would result in a Council expanded to a total of 25 members, with 6 new permanent seats assigned to Africa (2), Asia (2), Western Europe (1), Latin America and the Caribbean (1) and 4 new non-permanent seats to Africa (1), Asia (1), Eastern Europe (1) and Latin America and the Caribbean (1). The G4's proposal also scheduled a review of the reform after 15 years, when it would be considered, inter alia, the question of the veto. Until then new permanent members would be committed not to make use of the veto in their deliberations in the UNSC.

It is worth mentioning that Brazil is also part of the L.69 Group, that advocates the expansion of the Security Council in both categories of membership and the improvement of the organ's working methods and comprises about 40 developing countries from various regions, including least-developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, the IBSA nations (India, Brazil and South Africa), among others.

Brazil is convinced that only an increase in the number of seats in both categories - permanent and non-permanent - will solve the serious deficit of representativeness in the Council. Moreover, we doubt that, in good faith, one could deny the benefits, in terms of legitimacy and effectiveness, which would arise from enhancing the Council's representativeness.

That is why the expansion in both categories has the support of the large majority of UN Member States and should be reflected in future negotiations. In this context, Brazil has sought to work with its partners to inject greater political momentum in the reform process.

After more than 20 years of debate, although there still are significant differences of opinions and interests concerning the reform process, no proposal gathers a base of support as significant as the one which defends the increase in the number of seats in both categories, as advocated by G4. There is a consistent and significant majority among the members of the Organization in favor of this model of expansion.

For Brazil, the protection of the Security Council's credibility, to be achieved through a comprehensive reform, can be seen as a national goal. In addition to posing threats to the international stability, the weakening of the UNSC would benefit other arrangements in which the country would have scant influence and would be detrimental for the achievements of the last 60 years in terms of consolidation of the international law through the UN. Therefore, aware of the post-Cold War world order, Brazil must engage actively in the discussions on peace and security, notably on the UNSC reform.

The role that has been played by Brazil in the international scenario has consolidated the image of a country not only willing, but also able to perform greater responsibilities in the field of international peace and security. Such a role - along with other factors such as economic capacity, democratic stability, large population and geographical size - makes it natural that Brazil is considered when the decision-making bodies of the United Nations be reformed, particularly its Security Council.


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