Britain’s ideal U.N. Security Council

At a speech I had the chance to attend at Georgetown University yesterday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague voiced his support for a "more representative U.N. Security Council." Following the speech, I asked Hague what his ideal council would look like and got a surprisingly specific response: We favor the inclusion of India, Brazil, Germany ...

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

At a speech I had the chance to attend at Georgetown University yesterday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague voiced his support for a "more representative U.N. Security Council." Following the speech, I asked Hague what his ideal council would look like and got a surprisingly specific response:

We favor the inclusion of India, Brazil, Germany and Japan and African representation in an expanded security council. It's a difficult process to bring about of course as it requires a high degree of international consensus. But that's our goal in the United Kingdom. 

The British Foreign Office and Hague's Conservative Party haven't always been so enthusiastic about the idea of an expanded council. 

At a speech I had the chance to attend at Georgetown University yesterday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague voiced his support for a "more representative U.N. Security Council." Following the speech, I asked Hague what his ideal council would look like and got a surprisingly specific response:

We favor the inclusion of India, Brazil, Germany and Japan and African representation in an expanded security council. It’s a difficult process to bring about of course as it requires a high degree of international consensus. But that’s our goal in the United Kingdom. 

The British Foreign Office and Hague’s Conservative Party haven’t always been so enthusiastic about the idea of an expanded council. 

The speech was largely dedicated to combating the notion that cuts to the British defense and diplomatic budgets will lead to a less assertive British presence in world affairs. "Strong defenses require strong finances," he said. "The decisions we have taken are necessary beyond question and will ensure that Britain will be able to defend all its territories and meet all its commitments, including to NATO’s target of 2 percent of gross domestic product spend on defense."

Hague also suggested that there may be some rebalancing ahead for British trade priorities:

For example, we are still exporting more to Ireland than to India, China and Russia put together, and more to Denmark than to the whole of Latin America — a region of 20 countries and 576 million people.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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