In 1945, as the world emerged from a conflict that claimed
over 50 million lives, the international community created the United Nations Organization (UN), a intergovernmental system conceived to address peace and security issues, with the Security Council as its central body.
The primary function of the United Nations Security Council is to maintain international peace and security, in addition to its legal capacity to authorize the use of force and to enforce its decisions in the event of any threat to peace, breach of peace or act of aggression. The Council is composed of 15 members, including 10 non-permanent members elected by the United Nations General Assembly for two-year terms (with no possibility of immediate re-election), and five permanent members with right of veto (China, United States, France, United Kingdom and Russia).
The Security Council composition and framework reflect a post-second world war landscape, with conflict-winning powers as permanent members and a clear under-representation of developing countries, in particular those in Latin America and Africa.
In the post-war period, the United Nations had 51 members. Today, it has 193. Despite important transformations the world has undergone since then, the Security Council structure has been changed only once: in 1965, with the increase of non-permanent seats from six to ten. An outdated framework of governance compromises the legitimacy of the Council and, as a consequence, its performance.
The world cannot do without a Security Council that is capable of dealing with serious threats to peace. A reformed Council must reflect the emergence of new actors, particularly in the developing world, who are able to assisting to overcome present challenges on the international agenda.
The Security Council reform is necessary and must be discussed not only in international offices and conferences, but by society in general.
Since 2004, Brazil has taken part in discussions on the Security Council reform in coordination with Germany, India and Japan, within the framework of the G4 group. The Group’s latest ministerial statement on this theme is available on http://www.itamaraty.gov.br/en/press-releases/19744-joint-press-statement-on-meeting-of-the-foreign-ministers-of-the-g4-countries-brazil-germany-india-and-japan-on-united-nations-security-council-reform-new-york-september-25-2018.More information about Brazil’s stance on the reform, timeline of negotiations and relevant documents and texts for a better understanding of the negotiation process can be found on http://csnu.itamaraty.gov.br/en/.