Uniting for Consensus (UfC), nicknamed the Coffee Club, is a movement that developed in the 1990s in opposition to the possible expansion of permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council.
Under the leadership of Italy, it aims to counter the bids for permanent seats proposed by G4 nations (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan) and is calling for a consensus before any decision is reached on the form and size of the United Nation Security Council.
Italy, through the ambassador Francesco Paolo Fulci, along with Pakistan, Mexico and Egypt, founded the “Coffee Club” in 1995.
The four countries were united by a rejection of the proposal to increase the number of permanent members of the Security Council, instead desiring to encourage the expansion of non-permanent seats.
The founders of the group were soon joined by other countries, including Spain, Argentina, Turkey, and Canada, and in a short time the group came to include about 50 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
The thesis of the Uniting for Consensus group is that the increase of permanent seats would further accentuate the disparity between the member countries and result in the extension of a series of privileges with a cascade effect. The new permanent members would in fact benefit from the method of electing, which is particularly advantageous in a number of specific organs of the United Nations System.
Most members of the club are middle-sized states who oppose bigger regional powers grabbing permanent seats in the UN Security Council.
The prime movers of the club include Italy, Spain, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Argentina, and Pakistan.
While Italy and Spain are opposed to Germany’s bid for Security Council’s permanent membership, Pakistan is opposed to India’s bid.
Similarly, Argentina is against Brazil’s bid and Australia opposes Japan’s.
Canada and South Korea are opposed to developing countries, often dependent on their aid, wielding more power than them at the UN.