The World Cannot Run the Risk of a New Conflict like the One in Iraq


In recent years, the Brazilian Government has invested heavily in South America’s integration and peace.  We have strengthened our strategic partnership with Argentina.  We have reinforced Mercosul, including through unique financial mechanisms among developing countries.

The establishment of the Union of South American Nations — UNASUL — aims at consolidating a genuine zone of peace and prosperity.  UNASUL has already demonstrated its value in promoting understanding and the peaceful resolution of conflicts among countries in South America and within them.  UNASUL has made external interference in our region even more unwarranted.

By creating the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, launched in Bahia and confirmed in Cancun, we have reaffirmed the region’s willingness to extend to Central America and the Caribbean the integrationist ideals that move South Americans.

Brazil reiterates its condemnation, shared by all in Latin America and the Caribbean, of the illegitimate embargo against Cuba.  Its sole result has been to hamper the efforts of millions of Cubans in their struggle for development.

We condemn anti-democratic moves, such as the coup d’état in Honduras.  The return of former President Zelaya without threats to his freedom is indispensable for the full normalization of Honduras’ relation with the region as a whole.

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The reform of global governance has not yet reached the field of international peace and security.  In the economic and environmental areas, the wealthiest nations have already understood that they cannot do without the cooperation of the emerging countries.  When it comes to war and peace, however, the traditional players are reluctant to share power.

The Security Council must be reformed and expanded to allow for greater participation of developing countries, including as permanent members.

We cannot go on with working methods which lack transparency and which allow the permanent members to discuss behind closed doors issues that concern all mankind for as long as they wish.

Brazil has sought to live up to what is expected from all Security Council members, including non-permanent ones, i.e.: that they contribute to peace.  For this reason, we made a serious effort to find an instrument that could represent progress towards a solution of the Iranian nuclear question.

In so doing, we relied on proposals that had been presented as a “unique opportunity” to build confidence between the parties.  The Tehran Declaration of May 17th, signed by Brazil, Turkey and Iran, removed obstacles that, according to the very authors of those proposals, had previously prevented an agreement.

The Tehran Declaration does not exhaust the issue.  It was never its intention to do so.  We are convinced that, once back to the negotiation table, the parties will find ways to resolve other issues, such as enrichment to 20% and the stock of enriched uranium accumulated since October 2009.

In spite of the sanctions, we still hope that the logic of dialogue and understanding will prevail.

The world cannot run the risk of a new conflict like the one in Iraq.  We have been insisting, therefore, that the Iranian Government maintain an attitude of flexibility and openness towards negotiations.  But it is necessary that all those concerned demonstrate such willingness.

We are closely following developments in the peace process in the Middle East.  We hope the direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis launched earlier this month will produce concrete results that lead to the creation of a Palestinian State within the pre-1967 borders.  A State that secures to the Palestinian people a dignified life, coexisting, side by side and in peace, with the State of Israel.

But it is not the format of the dialogue that will determine whether it will yield results.  What matters is the willingness of the parties to reach a just and lasting peace.  This will be easier with the involvement of all those concerned.

Freezing of construction in the settlements in the occupied territories, lifting the Gaza blockade and ending attacks against civilian populations are crucial in this process.

In his visit to Israel, Palestine and Jordan in March, President Lula spoke with Government leaders and representatives of civil society about these issues.  We frequently receive in Brasilia leaders of different countries of the region, who seek support for the resolution of the problems which have afflicted them for decades and have not been solved by the traditional means and actors.

Brazil, which has about ten million Arab descendants and an important Jewish community living in harmony, will not shy from giving its contribution to the peace which all yearn for.

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Celso Amorim is the Foreign Minister of Brazil.  Em português.

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