THE photograph of senior representatives of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan clasping hands at the United Nations this week was touching but also a little ridiculous. Each of them is a candidate for permanent membership of the Security Council of the UN in the event that its present structure were to be changed. The argument, of course, is that the existing members, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, owe their status to their roles in World War II and that the time is long overdue for the permanent membership to reflect the realities of the 21st century. This certainly makes sense in theory but will prove difficult, if not impossible, to implement in practice.
SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM