The Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, declared that he is in favor of Brazilian participation as a permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council.
According to the Australian Minister, reform of the Council is necessary to bring the organization abreast of today's world. Downer was in the Ministry of Foreign Relations, in Brasília, Wednesday, January 4.
"I believe the reform is necessary. The international community should press for this to happen, because we require a Council that represents the world as it is nowadays. The world is not the same as in 1945 [the year in which the UN was founded]. That is why I defend the entry of Brazil, Japan, and an African country, because that's the way the world is now," Downer said.
The Brazilian minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, observed that the two countries share certain viewpoints. "Regarding the international agenda, I would say that our perspectives on the United Nations and multilateralism, including the need to reform the Security Council as well as other UN bodies, are very similar."
According to the Brazilian Minister, expanding the Security Council could be a form of democratizing the UN. "It is important for the reforms to be made in such a way as to make the UN more democratic. Criticisms are sometimes made, even concerning Security Council reform, that countries are after more privileges. That is not the case. Expanding the number of countries with seats on the Security Council is one of the ways to enlarge democratic spaces," he affirms.
As for the UN's role in current international conflicts, the Australian minister said that the organization will not resolve all the problems but that it should protect lives.
"There is an awareness on the part of the member countries that a modicum of responsibility exists. We know that the UN will not resolve everything; countries, too, must deal with their problems, and the cooperation is important," he affirmed.
In Amorim's view, the two countries have acted positively and cooperated in the solution of other disputes. "Australia played a significant role in East Timor, and Brazil played an important part in Angola and now in Haiti."
Amorim went on to say that Brazil has acted with forthrightness in the area of human rights. "In the case of human rights, it was Brazil, for example, that proposed a resolution in the Human Rights Commission stating that racism is incompatible with democracy."