By Oliver Stuenkel
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Additional resources for Brazil on the Global Stage: Power, Ideas, and the Liberal International Order
In the realm o f peace and security, Brazil has often expressed skepticism about Western policies and concerns about double standards regarding the use o f force that resonate powerfully with developing-world positions. There are several points o f tension in this aspect o f Brazil’s multilateralism, however. In its bid to reform the U N Security Council, for example, Brazil has linked its candidacy to those o f highly developed Germany and Japan. The G4 initiative is therefore difficult to frame as one designed to boost the influence o f the developing world.
T he U N must be the main center o f decision-making in international politics” (Amorim, 2010, p. 3). 20 • David Bosco and Oliver Stuenkel Amorim’s linkage o f democracy with multilateralism underlines the depth of Brazil’s recent rhetorical com m itm ent to multilateralism. But moving beyond this broad but abstract support for the U N requires a more specific examina tion o f that institution’s com ponents. Brazil’s performance in the U N Security Council and the H um an Rights Council, in particular, has required it to take public positions on contentious international issues and therefore has thrown into sharper relief its view o f the proper role and place o f the organization.
All of these states have insisted that the existing Council membership structure is outdated and that reform is essential to preserve the Council’s legitimacy and relevance. While there is near unanimity in the abstract about the need for Council reform, there is little agreement about the appropriate approach to reform. In their advo cacy efforts, the G4 states have often collided with another group of states— the “Uniting for Consensus” bloc— which opposes new Security Council permanent seats.