First of all, I would like to thank Minister Steinmeier and his German colleagues for organizing this meeting. It is an honor to meet all G4 foreign ministers at the margins of the UN General Assembly. This is the first time I have the pleasure to participate in a G4 ministerial.
I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate Brazil's commitment to strengthening our relations with Germany, India and Japan. Speaking in purely geographical terms, our four countries seem to lie far apart, in three different continents. Yet we are natural partners in many areas of cooperation on the international agenda.
The support for effective changes in the old structure of global governance is one of our common goals. When the current structure of the UN Security Council was established, more than 70 years ago, the world was very different from ours: the world population was around 2 billion people, less than one-third of today’s population, and the United Nations had only 51 member States, compared to the current 193.
How can we freeze for 71 years an institution built to help us to face some daunting challenges to world peace and security, knowing that the risks and dangers that threaten us are changing faster and faster every day?
In the ceremony in which I took office as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, four months ago, I announced a number of guidelines for the new Brazilian foreign policy. I said then that, at the United Nations, and in all global and regional fora, the Brazilian Government would act in favor of peace and negotiated solutions to conflicts, and would pursue the adaptation of the current international institutions to the new realities and global challenges.
At the margins of the G20 Hangzhou Summit, President Temer noted that "ongoing changes require a corresponding update of our global governance structures". In this context, he stressed that "we need international decision-making structures more representative and thus more legitimate and effective".
In the financial and economic arena, we have made considerable progress since the 2008 crisis. The G20 became the foremost international mechanism for macroeconomic coordination and for dealing with the obstacles to economic growth and employment. At the same time, in the IMF and the World Bank, the quota reforms are moving forward, although not as quickly as we wished for.
In contrast, in matters of peace and security, progress has been much slower.
As I said, the UN Security Council still has a core membership that reflects the world of 1945.
An expanded Security Council, with the incorporation of new permanent members, could be beneficial to all. It could break the current stalemate that prevents us to solve many of the problems and crises that continue to threaten international peace. G4 countries could bring the Council new approaches and views and help to bridge differences between its current members.
Brazil has long advocated for the expansion of the Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent members’ categories, and President Temer is committed to it.
The Security Council has been continuously expanding its agenda in recent years. Originally envisaged to deal with specific conflicts that threatened international peace and security, the Security Council now discusses a number of other issues, such as terrorism, health crisis, drug trafficking and climate change.
We all realize that Security Council reform is not an easy task. Therefore, we all need to work in close cooperation in order to move the process forward.
Our four countries need to continue pushing for genuine text-based negotiations. We also need to join forces with other like-minded Member States on this subject. We are optimistic that a larger group comprised of all "friends of the reform" can bring dynamism to the process.
Next year the United Nations will be under a new leadership. We hope the new Secretary-General will attach the highest priority to enabling Member States to reform the main organ entrusted with primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
It is time for us to get concrete results.