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The G4 (Group of Four) is an alliance among Brazilmarker, Germanymarker, Indiamarker, and Japanmarker for the purpose of supporting each other’s bid for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council. Unlike the G8 (formerly known as 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 UN Security Council.


The UN currently has five permanent members with veto powers in the Security Council: The People's Republic of Chinamarker, Francemarker, Russiamarker, The United Kingdommarker and The United Statesmarker. The G4 nations are regularly elected to two-year terms on the Security Council by their respective groups: in the 24-year period from 1987 to 2010, Indiamarker was elected for six terms, Japan for five terms, Brazil for four terms and Germany for three terms.

Delay and opposition

While almost all nations have agreed in principle that the UN needs a revamping which includes expansion, few countries are willing to talk about the exact time frame for such a reorganization. Also there has been discontent among the present permanent members regarding the inclusion of controversial nations or countries not supported by them. For instance, Japanmarker's bid is heavily opposed by the People's Republic of Chinamarker who believes that Japan needs to atone further for its war crimes in World War II . At the same timeJapanmarker finds strong support from the United Statesmarker and the United Kingdommarker.

Countries that strongly oppose the G4 countries' bids have formed the Uniting for Consensus movement, or the Coffee Club, now comprising over 40 nations. The leaders of this group are Italymarker, South Koreamarker, Mexicomarker, Argentinamarker and Pakistanmarker. In East Asia, both Chinamarker and South Koreamarker heavily oppose Japanmarker's bid. In Europe, Italymarker, Spainmarker and the Netherlandsmarker all oppose a seat for Germanymarker. In Latin America, Argentinamarker and Mexicomarker are opposing a seat for Brazilmarker. In South Asia, Pakistanmarker is opposing Indiamarker's bid. Also important are historical political animosities toward certain G4 nations (see Japanese war crimes, Comfort women for Japan, and The Holocaust for Germany).


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, the African Union was unable to agree on two nominees: Egyptmarker, Nigeriamarker and South Africa all lay claim to a permanent African UNSC seat.

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 SC. 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.

The G4 retain their goal of permanent UNSC membership for all four nations (plus two African nations). However, Japan announced in January 2006 that it would not support putting the G4 resolution back on the table and was working on a resolution of its own.


  1. US backs Japan's UNSC bid despite setback to momentum, People's Daily, 19 April 2005
  2. UK backs Japan for UNSC bid, Central Chronicle, 11 January 2007
  3. " Players and Proposals in the Security Council Debate", Global Policy Forum, 3 July 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  4. Africa's Battle for Power in the Security Council, United Nations Radio, 21 July 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  5. Africa: Security Council Expansion, AfricaFocus Bulletin, 30 April 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  6. Japan Says No to G4 Bid, Global Policy Forum,, 7 Jan 2006

See also


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