Passing the Baton: Learning from the Experience of Brazil on the Security Council


In recent years, the ten elected members of the Security Council (E10) have come to play a more prominent role, exerting increased influence in the council’s working methods, thematic issues, and some country files. The contributions of the E10 are particularly felt during times of constrained political space among the council’s permanent members (P5), as currently seen. In such cases, the ability and willingness of the E10 to work together across areas in which they have common interests has helped to spur the council’s work. Because gains made by the E10 are often based on the efforts and innovations of individual member states, experiences must be shared with incoming and future elected members to maintain momentum.

IPI is working to capture the experiences of outgoing elected members after their council terms end. While some member states undertake internal reviews of their council terms, they are not usually shared externally, which prevents their experiences from benefiting future council members.

To help the process of gathering lessons learned, IPI hosted a closed-door roundtable on April 30th, focusing on Brazil’s council term from 2022 to 2023. Some of the questions under discussion included:

  • What were Brazil’s main goals on the council and what strategies did it use to achieve these goals?
  • What were the key barriers and enablers to Brazil achieving its objectives while on the council?
  • How did dynamics among the P5 and E10 affect Brazil’s work specifically and the work of the council more broadly during this time?
  • What political and other events took place during this time and how did they affect the council’s work? What methods were utilized by Brazil and other council members to deal with these events?
  • Did the council’s working methods change during this time? If so, how? What were the implications of these changes?
  • In what ways, if any, did Brazil seek to “pass the baton” on issues it championed while on the council?
  • What are the insights of the experience as a non-permanent member that may be broadly applicable to other E10 and what are more specific to Brazil?
  • What are the perspectives/insights of Brazil as an E10 country in serving as president of the Security Council?

A meeting note summarizing the discussion can be found here>>