After visiting five countries in Africa, the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, defended the integration of an Arab country amongst the permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council.
Foreign minister of Brazil defends idea of including an Arab country in “It is an alternative that should be evaluated. Maybe to think of an Arab country, without counting the two African countries. That I don’t know. This is a matter that has to be looked at. Evidently the balance between the various regions has to be looked at,” said the Minister.
In December, 16 experts in international relations presented a report with proposals for reforms in the organization to the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan. One of them suggests the opening of six new permanent seats in the Security Council, two destined for Africa, and the other four for Asia, Europe and the Americas.
However, the countries would not have the right for veto like the five current permanent members, which are the United States, China, Russia, France and England.
The other alternative presented by the team does not foresee new permanent seats. The countries would participate as members for a period of four years and could be re-elected.
The first proposal, denominated model A, is the most interesting one for Brazil. In some statements, minister Celso Amorim defended that the new members should have veto power. On January 27, secretary Kofi Annan should start the discussions on the changes in the organization.
In the interview, Minister Celso Amorim also emphasized the support of the African countries that Brazil should occupy a permanent seat in the Council.
“There is no-one in Africa I know to have any kind of resistance towards Brazil. On the contrary, in some places I clearly heard that Brazil would be a good addition to the Security Council.”
Brazil and Africa
Amorim also stated that Brazil will pay special attention to the African problems if it joins the Council.
“If Brazil is in the Security Council representing Latin America, the country will give special attention to the problems faced by the Africans, as it always did, within a non-paternalist point of view, but with the objective of cooperation, not looking for immediate advantage in return,” said the minister.
Amorim also recalled the proximity bonds between Brazil and the African countries.
“Notice that from Senegal to Recife (city in the Northeast of Brazil) it is only four hours, it is less time than it takes from Cameroon to Senegal.”
Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva should visit the African continent this year. Amorim visited Senegal, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Cameroon.