Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff proposed today, in New York, at the opening of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, the creation of a multilateral agreement between nations that would rule the Internet and protect its data.
According to the Brazilian leader, the US espionage of Brazilian citizens, as well as the country’s authorities and businesses, goes beyond the relationship between countries, affects the international community and requires a response.
“The information and telecommunication technologies can not be a new battleground between states. This is the time for us to create the conditions to prevent that cyber space be used as a weapon of war through espionage, sabotage, and attacks against the system and infrastructure of other countries,” Rousseff said.
“The United Nations should play a leading role in the effort to regulate the behavior of states vis-à-vis these technologies and the importance of the Internet for building democracy in the world.”
Rousseff said the revelations about espionage activities caused outrage and repudiation from the world public opinion, especially in Brazil, which was the target of such spying, including to business information of high strategic economic value.
The Brazilian president stressed that a sovereignty cannot be used over another. “The right to security of the citizens of a country can never be secured by the violation of the human rights of citizens of another country. It’s still worse when private companies are suffering this espionage,” she said.
According to her, the arguments that the illegal interception of information and data are intended to protect the nations against terrorism don’t make any sense.
Before the start of the session, Rousseff met with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. He and John Ashe, chair of this session of the UN General Assembly, opened the event before the Brazilian president’s speech.
The tradition that the first speaker at the UN General Assembly is a Brazilian started with Oswaldo Aranha, head of the delegation of Brazil, who opened the first special session in 1947.
Dilma arrived in New York, Monday morning. At night, she had two meetings in the hotel where she is staying. The first one with former US President Bill Clinton and another with the president of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner.
Rousseff is also expected to participates in the first meeting of the High Level Forum on Sustainable Development, which gathers, environment ministers every year and heads of state each four years.
The objective is to implement the goals set in the final document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio +20, named “The Future We Want.”
The countries pledged at the conference in Rio de Janeiro, in 2012, to define concrete and measurable goals for the elimination of poverty and hunger in the world with sustainable development.