LONDON: Britain will welcome India, Brazil, Japan and Germany as permanent members of a reformed United Nations Security Council (UNSC), UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on December 12 in a speech outlining the future of his country’s global diplomacy.
Recalling how the UK joined hands with the United States, France and other nations to create the United Nations (UN) after the World War II, he said the British foreign policy strives to renew its founding principles and institutions because the rules-based global order created at that time allowed more people to live in peace and prosperity than ever before.
“Now we don’t believe everything is perfect; and we’re not standing in the way of reform,” Cleverly said. “In fact, the UK wants to welcome Brazil, India, Japan and Germany as permanent members of the UN Security Council, alongside permanent African representation.”
Outlining long-term priorities for Britain’s international diplomacy, Cleverly said some “relationships will be essential to our shared successful futures”. In this context, he cited the examples of Brazil, Indonesia and India with their young populations.
“Many of these countries have enjoyed rapid success and, above all, they want that success to continue. Their populations are typically much younger than ours: the median age here in the UK is over 40, while in Brazil it’s 33, in Indonesia it’s 30, and in India it’s only 28.”
Cleverly also spoke about deeper trade cooperation in the context of Britain’s long-term commitment to the Indo-Pacific. This includes joining the Trans-Pacific free trade agreement “as soon as possible”, and deepening cooperation with India, the new President of the G20, and finalising “our trade agreement with them”.
Cleverly also recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that today’s era is “not of war”, while criticising Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. “By attacking one of the world’s biggest producers of food and fertiliser, he is driving up global prices and inflicting still greater hardship on some of the poorest people around the world,” Cleverly said. “Hence it was Prime Minister Modi who told Putin to his face, and I quote: ‘I know that today’s era is not the era of war’.”