Print This Post
1 September 2010, Foreign Affairs

Not Ready for Prime Time

The world’s leading international institutions may be outmoded, but Brazil, China, India, and South Africa are not ready to join the helm. Their shaky commitment to democracy, human rights, nuclear nonproliferation, and environmental protection would only weaken the international system’s core values.

post image

Few matters generate as much consensus in international affairs today as the need to rebuild the world geopolitical order. Everyone seems to agree, at least in their rhetoric, that the makeup of the United Nations Security Council is obsolete and that the G-8 no longer includes all the world’s most important economies. Belgium still has more voting power in the leading financial institutions than either China or India. New actors need to be brought in. But which ones? And what will be the likely results? If there is no doubt that a retooled international order would be far more representative of the distribution of power in the world today, it is not clear whether it would be better.

The major emerging powers, Brazil, Russia, India, and China, catchily labeled the BRICs by Goldman Sachs, are the main contenders for inclusion. There are other groupings, too: the G-5, the G-20, and the P-4; the last—Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan—are the wannabes that hope to join the un Security Council and are named after the p-5, the council’s permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Up for the G-8 are Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. The G-8 invited representatives of those five states to its 2003 summit in Evian, France, and from 2005 through 2008, this so-called G-5 attended its own special sessions on the sidelines of the G-8’s.

This article was originally published by Foreign Affairs. You can read the rest of the article here.

You can read exclusive content from Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, here.

Copyright © 2010 by the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc.

TAGGED UNDER: , , , , , , , , , , ,