Statement by Ambassador Celso Amorim
Minister of External Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil
New York, September 17, 2005
me extend my warmest congratulations to Ambassador Ian Eliasson, of Sweden, on
his assumption of the Presidency of the 60th General Assembly.
Allow me also to express our fraternal greetings to Secretary General
Kofi Annan, whose wisdom and commitment to multilateralism have made an immense
contribution to progress in the United Nations. Minister Jean Ping, of Gabon,
deserves special recognition for the competent and dedicated manner in which he
presided over the 59th session of the General Assembly.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
History offers us a rare opportunity to promote change. Let us not waste
it. Peace, Development, Democracy and Respect for Human Rights are objectives
that unite us. Reform must be our
Final Document adopted yesterday by the Summit has unquestionably fallen short
of our expectations. It provides us nevertheless with the guidelines that will
allow us to accomplish our tasks.
The General Assembly must be strengthened. More than ever, we need a
forum of universal representation where the crucial issues of today’s world
can be democratically debated. The General Assembly must provide leadership and
political guidance to the Organization as a whole. In supporting the authority
of the General Assembly, by means of reforms to render it more agile and
productive, we are supporting the very essence of the United Nations.
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) must become again a dynamic and
influent organ. It must help us find convergences on issues related to trade,
finance and development, in an environment free from prejudice and dogma.
ECOSOC should be the privileged deliberative forum in the quest for
conciliation between the objectives of sustainable economic growth and the
reduction of the inequalities derived from an asymmetric globalization.
President Lula suggested this year, at the G-8 Summit at Gleneagles, that
we could start raising the profile of ECOSOC by organizing a high level segment
with the participation of the Economy Minister of the country in charge of the
G-8 Presidency. ECOSOC must also
contribute to the promotion of peace and stability in partnership with the
Security Council, as set forth by Article 65 of the Charter.
The establishment of a Peace-Building Commission will bridge an important
institutional gap. It will be the link, inexistent today, between security and
The structures and mechanisms of this Organization in the human rights
field must be improved and reinforced. We
support the creation of a Human Rights Council, based on the principles of
universality, dialogue and non-selectivity. The elaboration of an annual global
report on human rights by the High Commissioner’s Office, covering all
countries and situations, will contribute to increase the credibility of the UN
human rights system.
The Secretary General has called for better coordination in our work to
protect victims of grave and systematic violations of human rights.
International cooperation in the human rights and humanitarian assistance field
must be guided by the principle of collective responsibility. We have sustained,
on several occasions – in our region and elsewhere – that the principle of
non-intervention in the domestic affairs of States must be associated with the
idea of “non-indifference”.
We have been called upon to deal with new concepts such as “human
security” and “responsibility to protect”. We agree that they merit an
adequate place in our system. But it is an illusion to believe that we can
combat the dysfunctional politics at the root of grave human rights violations
through military means alone, or even economic sanctions, to the detriment of
diplomacy and persuasion.
Human security is mainly the result of just and
equitable societies, which promote and protect human rights, strengthen
democracy and respect the rule of law, while creating opportunities for economic
development and social justice. The United Nations was not created to
disseminate the notion that order should be imposed by force. This extreme
expedient can only be considered when all other efforts have been exhausted and
peaceful solutions have indeed proved not viable. The judgment regarding the
existence of such exceptional circumstances must always be a multilateral one.
On that basis, the Charter foresees two situations for the use of force: the
need to restore or maintain international peace and security and the right to
self-defense. Mixing these two concepts would blur the very tenets of this
Security Council reform is the centerpiece of the reform process in which
we are engaged. The immense majority of Member States recognizes the need to
make the Security Council more representative and democratic.
At this historical juncture, no Security Council reform will be
meaningful should it not contemplate the expansion of permanent and
non-permanent seats, with developing countries from Africa, Latin America and
Asia in both categories. We cannot accept the perpetuation of imbalances that
run contrary to the very spirit of multilateralism.
Above all, a more efficient Council must be capable of ensuring the
implementation of its decisions. It is not reasonable to expect that the Council
can continue to expand its agenda and responsibilities without addressing its
Two years ago, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared before this
Assembly that every nation committed to democracy, at the domestic level, must
strive – in its external relations – for more transparent, legitimate and
representative decision-making processes. In the same spirit, Secretary-General
Kofi Annan pointed out the contradictions to be overcome, and I quote: “We are
the ones who go around the world lecturing everybody about
democracy. I think it is about time we apply it to ourselves and then
show there is effective representation”.
We are still far from accomplishing the goals of the Millennium
Declaration. This week’s Summit has stressed the importance of a renewed
commitment to Development Assistance, and contributed to promote universal
acceptance of the 0.7 per cent threshold as the proportion of GNP to be destined
for ODA. At the same time, we must continue to work on innovative and additional
sources of financing. I note with satisfaction that since the World Leaders
Meeting for the Action Against Hunger and Poverty - convened last year by
President Lula - we have achieved significant progress. A growing number of
governments and NGOs have joined in the effort to eradicate hunger and poverty.
This is the only war in which we are engaged. This is the only war we can all
This year we witnessed yet again brutal acts of terrorism. Innocent
civilians, women and children are today victims of groups who stand as
adversaries to the values we share. As a country whose identity cannot be
dissociated from the notions of tolerance and diversity, Brazil rejects in the
strongest terms these abhorrent acts, which go against the very notion of
humanity. We will continue to lend our support to increased international
cooperation in the combat against terrorism and to the elimination of its
deep-rooted causes. Such efforts must be undertaken with due respect for
international law and human rights. The fight against terrorism cannot be viewed
in terms of police repression alone. Neither can such repressive acts result in
absurd, indiscriminate deaths, similar to those caused by terrorism itself.
Despite the fact that there is no automatic linkage between poverty and
terrorism, communities can be exposed to extreme attitudes by fanatical groups
as a result of grave social and economic problems – especially when associated
with the absence of civil and political liberties. I wish to express Brazil’s
readiness to work intensively with a view to the prompt conclusion of a
comprehensive convention on terrorism.
We recognize the risks of the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction. At the same time, we
cannot disregard the importance of reducing and dismantling existing arsenals of
all such weapons. We regret that the Seventh Review Conference of the NPT did
not produce tangible results. Together with non-proliferation efforts, we must
continue to work tirelessly towards nuclear disarmament.
In addition to the challenges I have just mentioned, we are faced with
two crises of global impact: the pandemic explosion of HIV/AIDS, and the serious
threats posed by climate change. Brazil will remain engaged in promoting the
implementation of existing multilateral instruments to fight these scourges.
Brazil is committed to reinforcing the strategic alliance with its main
partner in our region – Argentina – and to the promotion of a prosperous,
integrated and politically stable South America, building upon our experience in
MERCOSUL. We will tirelessly strive for MERCOSUL’s advancement in the economic
and political fields. The South American Community of Nations, which was founded
last year in Cuzco, Peru, can be seen as a driving force for integration in
Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole.
Our efforts in establishing partnerships with other developing countries
and regions go beyond our immediate region.
IBSA – the India, Brazil and South Africa Dialogue Forum – has
brought together three large democracies from Africa, Asia and Latin America,
keen on deepening the economic, political and cultural ties among themselves and
Together with other partners we joined in the setting up of the G-20,
which has placed developing countries at the center stage of agricultural trade
negotiations of the WTO Doha Round. Thanks to the role played by the G-20 it has
been possible to associate trade liberalization and social justice in the
context of the multilateral trade system.
Strengthening our ties with Africa has been a longstanding aspiration of
Brazil’s. No previous government has pursued this objective with the resolve
demonstrated by President Lula. Trade and cooperation between Brazil and Africa
has grown significantly. Political dialogue has intensified. We have been
contributing to the consolidation of peace and democracy in countries such as
Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe. We have helped to fight hunger, develop
agriculture, and combat the scourge of HIV/AIDS in various brother countries of
The same sense of solidarity inspires us to participate in the peace
efforts of the United Nations in Haiti. Brazilian and Latin American
presence in Haiti is unprecedented both in terms of troops and of
political commitment. We are moved by three main objectives: 1) the setting up
of a safe environment; 2) the promotion of dialogue among the various political
actors with a view to a genuine democratic transition; and 3) effective
international support for institutional, social and economic reconstruction.
Haiti is likely to be the first test case for the Peace Building Commission.
Brazil and the Arab world are renewing their ties of friendship, inspired
by strong historical and cultural affinities. Apart from bilateral initiatives,
Brazil has been strengthening its relations with regional groupings such as the
Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League. In May 2005 an unprecedented
summit of South American and Arab States took place in Brasilia. This pioneering
initiative brought together two regions of the developing world, in a concrete
demonstration of harmony of civilizations.
In several trips to the Middle East, I had the opportunity to talk to a
variety of people, including leaders from Israel and Palestine. They are aware
of Brazil’s willingness to support the work of the Quartet, as a partner for
peace. The practice of tolerance and respect for others, as well as the
harmonious coexistence of different communities in our country, constitute our
comparative advantage. I believe this conviction is shared by important
personalities and political leaders from both Israel and Palestine.
At the threshold of a new chapter in the life of the United Nations,
Brazil remains committed to the ideals that led to the creation of the only
Organization of universal scope; the only body that can guarantee a future of
peace and prosperity, not for the few, but for all.