Brazil assumed the presidency of the United Nations (UN) Security Council this past Monday, February 28. The presidency is in charge of organizing the Council’s agenda, directing formal and informal sessions, and promoting consultations among the members regarding items on the agenda.
According to the UN Charter, the fundamental task of the Security Council is to maintain international peace and security. It is the only body with legal powers to authorize the use of force in cases of outbreaks of conflict or threats to international peace and security.
Through resolutions, decisions, and declarations, the Council seeks peaceful solutions to controversies, decides on the establishment of peace operations, and, in cases of threats to peace and acts of aggression, can authorize coercive actions.
At the close of an eight-day trip to Africa, in mid-January, the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, made a positive evaluation of the contacts made during his meetings. In the Chancellor’s view, the trip was positive as much in the political sphere as in economic and cultural affairs.
Amorim considered significant the comments he heard about Brazil in the countries he visited.
“I regard it as normal that Brazil, which, if it gains a seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council, will obviously be representing Latin America, is a country that will pay special attention to African problems, as it always has, from a non-paternalistic perspective, but rather with the intention of cooperating without seeking immediate advantages in return,” the Minister said.
The Minister denied, however, that the purpose of the trip was to negotiate the support of African countries on behalf of Brazil’s candidacy for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and the candidacy of Brazilian Ambassador Luiz Felipe Seixas Correa as director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The election for the WTO post is expected to be held by mid-year.
Translation: David Silberstein