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Cablegate: Brazil: Un General Assembly Third Committee 2008

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBR #1225 2562027
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 122027Z SEP 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2442
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0271
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1556

C O N F I D E N T I A L BRASILIA 001225

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/12/2018
TAGS: PHUM PREL UN
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY THIRD COMMITTEE 2008
HUMAN RIGHTS PRIORITIES

REF: A. SECSTATE 93981
B. SECSTATE 95334
C. 07 BRASILIA 2081

Classified By: POLITICAL COUNSELOR STEPHEN LISTON, REASONS 1.4 b and d

1. (C) Summary. Brazil will continue to prefer addressing
human rights issues in the UN Human Rights Council, continues
to oppose country-specific resolutions, will support the EU's
Religious Tolerance resolution in lieu of a Defamation of
Religion resolution, and did not give a response on no action
resolutions. End summary.

2. (C) Poloff delivered demarche (refs A, B) to Marcel
Biato, deputy to the presidential foreign policy adviser, and
Counselor Marcia Adorno, head of Human Rights office at the
Ministry of Foreign Relations (MRE) separately on September
10. Adorno gave the official Brazilian reply.

Country Resolutions: "Not Effective"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. (C) Adorno noted that Brazil prefers to address human
rights issues in the UN Human Rights Council, not the Third
Committee, and reiterated Brazil's policy of not supporting
country specific resolutions. She said Brazil supports
giving "more autonomy" to the HRC, and does not support the
Third Committee "reevaluating and reopening" the work already
done in the HRC. She said Brazil voted for Burma and DPRK
country resolutions only because of the extreme situations
there, but Brazil believes country resolutions are not
effective. A more effective way to deal with human rights
violators is to engage them as "partners" to get them to
cooperate, which is why Brazil places great importance on the
Universal Periodic Review, she said. She said it is unlikely
Brazil would work with other governments in support of a
country resolution on Zimbabwe. She did not say how Brazil
would vote on country resolutions on Iran, DPRK, or Sudan,
and expressed agreement with our position on Belarus. Adorno
did not offer any substantive response on no action motions;
last year Brazil told us that although it sometimes supports
their
use, the GOB would vote against no action votes in the UNGA
Third committee (ref C).

Defamation of Religion
- - - - - - - - - - - -

4. (C) Brazil opposes the Defamation of Religions
resolution, and will support the EU's Religious Intolerance
resolution, Adorno said. She noted that for Brazil,
religious freedom is an individual, not community, right
similar to freedom of expression and conscience, and all
individuals have a right to express their views on religion.
Adorno said Brazil most recently voted for the Defamation of
Religions resolution because it included an amendment to
renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of
expression. Adorno added that Brazil would like to see the
UN Dialogue of Civilizations used to promote religious
tolerance.

Prisoners of Conscience
- - - - - - - - - - - -

5. (C) Brazil did not sign the Declaration on Prisoners of
Conscience because the text was closed to any changes, and
Brazil would not be able to sign it unless the text were
reopened, Adorno said. She did not think Brazil would
support any effort to highlight the Declaration.
SOBEL

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