Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, told a meeting of the G-20 (composed of developing countries), in Geneva, Switzerland, that the group needs to continue its political mobilization and that the next meetings should be held in African or Asian countries.
“There shouldn’t be the slightest hint of an impression that the G-20 is being mobilized by a single country or region. So, I would view with great pleasure the possibility of a meeting in Asia or Africa,” he said.
Representatives of the 20 member countries held a meeting, October 21, to evaluate their efforts.
According to Amorim, the group is presently experiencing “a moment of relatively subdued activity,” due mainly to the presidential election in the United States and the changes in the European Union Commission.
At the meeting the participants discussed the inclusion of other matters that should be part of the G-20’s agenda, apart from the elimination of trade barriers to agricultural commodities.
“We agree that our focus is agriculture but that this should not prevent us from exchanging ideas on other themes, especially because, the more negotiations progress, the more global they become,” Minister Amorim explained.
The Minister also clarified that the meeting between the Mercosur and the European Union in October 20 was not a failure.
According to Amorim, there is an important difference between not reaching a successful conclusion and being a failure.
He explained that representatives of the two blocs decided together that this is not the best juncture for negotiating a bilateral agreement between the groups.
“In truth, as Commissioner Pascal Lamy said yesterday, we arrived together at the decision that it would not be a considered judgment to try to conclude the agreement.”
The Minister guaranteed, for his part, that the negotiations will proceed.
“We observed enough convergent positions to convince ourselves that we are dealing with something worth continuing; furthermore, we are confident we shall continue and shall reach a good result. When? That’s another matter,” he concluded.
Translator: David Silberstein