Cablegate: Prominent Brazilians Ponder Foreign Policy Challenges And

DE RUEHRI #0236/01 2491444
R 051444Z SEP 08




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Prominent Brazilians Ponder Foreign Policy Challenges and

1. (U) Summary. The Brazilian Center for International Relations
(CEBRI) commemorated its 10th anniversary with a special forum in
Rio de Janeiro on September 2, 2008 which featured prominent
Brazilian policymakers and academics speaking on the theme of
"Challenges to Brazil's Foreign Policy." CEBRI was modeled after
the U.S. Council on Foreign Policy, and is widely considered the
most prestigious think tank in Brazil on foreign policy and
international relations. Conference participants packed the halls
of Itamaraty Palace, the former Foreign Ministry, to hear remarks
from a distinguished list of speakers including current Foreign
Minister Celso Amorim, Presidential Foreign Policy Advisor Marco
Aurelio Garcia, and former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Key
themes that emerged from the discussion as challenges to Brazil's
foreign policy were the need to balance historical principals such
as multilateralism and regional integration against pursuing
Brazil's own national interests; how best to realize the goal of
global (versus regional) leadership on issues such as energy, trade,
and climate change; and the need to foster more innovation within
Brazil and the region to strengthen South America's standing in the
world. A synopsis of forum discussions follows below. End

The Government's Perspective
2. (U) Foreign Minister Celso Amorim opened the conference by
noting that there are indeed many challenges to Brazilian foreign
policy, but chose to focus on two main themes. First, he stressed
the primacy of multilateralism in Brazilian foreign policy from both
a political and an economic perspective. For example, even though
Mercosur or a potential 4+1 trade agreement with the U.S. might be
of interest to Brazil - the country's main priority is emphatically
on World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, according to Amorim.
The same can be said of Brazil's view of the United Nations on
international security issues. Amorim cited his recent conversation
with U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel on Brazil's command of Haiti
peacekeeping efforts and said that such action by Brazil could only
be imaginable in the context of the UN. Second, Amorim reaffirmed
South American integration as the key element of Brazil's foreign
policy looking forward, noting that Brazil's prosperity is
intrinsically linked to that of its neighbors. He explained that
Brazil is striving to integrate more deeply with other South
American countries to strengthen their collective voice on the world
stage. For his part, President Lula's International Advisor Marco
Aurlio Garcia noted that Brazil is becoming more multi-polar and
multilateral in its international relations strategy. He said that
on trade, President Lula is committed to WTO and that reaching
agreement there takes priority over pursuing separate agreements
with Mercosur, the U.S., or the European Union. He touched on South
American integration, saying that trade is an important issue but
that it should not be viewed as the primary tool by which to
integrate. Brazil, he said, needs to look to integrate with its
neighbors on a wide range of issues such as democracy, social
development, agricultural and industrial policy, and technology

Former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso
3. (U) Former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso challenged Brazil
to take bolder positions on foreign policy. The country's goal
should not be limited to being just a regional leader. Brazil's
challenge, he said, is that it needs to move from adolescence into
adulthood in international relations; it should avoid being overly
romantic and overly arrogant. Brazil needs to come out in front and
take strong positions. It cannot afford to hide behind political
alliances and regional integration for fear of showing any crack in
what we all know is a tenuous solidarity among neighboring states.
Brazil cannot expect to shape its foreign policy with third world
country ideals, because Brazil does not identify with most countries
of the third world. He criticized the singular focus on the WTO
Doha round without thinking about other alternatives such as
bilateral trade agreements. Brazil should build bilateral
agreements with other countries, he argued, saying that until now
Brazil has only one commercial and partial agreement with Mexico
that was signed during his administration.

Regional Integration
4. (U) Deputy Foreign Minister Samuel Pinheiro Guimaraes echoed
Amorim's comments on the importance of regional integration.
However, he noted that Brazil is very different from its neighbors.
Despite the many similarities that existed in the 1960s, the
dynamism of Brazil's economy especially sets it apart from the rest
of South America. He cited diversification of exports as the main
factor which has made Brazil more competitive internationally, and
which has led to a growing trade surplus with the countries of South
America. Diplomat Joao Baena Soares argued that regional challenges

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require priority attention because South America is so important for
Brazil. The continuity of a consistent and predictable foreign
policy, generous with its neighbors is in Brazil's national
interest, he insisted. Baena Soares did say, though, that he does
not believe that Brazil is ready to play the role of a global actor
on behalf of the region. Researcher Maria Regina Soares de Lima
highlighted Brazil's many competing alliances as a challenge to
foreign policy. In addition to the goal of regional integration
with South American neighbors, Brazil's foreign policy is also
focused on building coalitions with other groups of countries with
perceived overlapping interests such as China, India, Mexico, and
South Africa.

South-South Dialogues and the G-8
5. (U) University of Sco Paulo Professor Gilberto Dupas noted
Brazil's strength in international negotiations and said that Brazil
should take advantage of this to increase its weight in global
governance, such as in the G-8. However, there is an increasing
lack of credibility of many of the other south-south and regional
groups to which Brazil belongs. According to Dupas, the G-4, G-20
and Mercosur clearly do not move beyond the national interests of
each member country to accomplish the goals for forming such groups.
Former Chancellor Francisco Rezek declared that, while it is
important that Brazil invests in defense, the country has other
competing needs for public resources which should be the priority.
According to him, ethanol is a golden opportunity of growth for
Brazil. However, environmental rules should not be disregarded.
Asked about what Brazil expects from the US, former Deputy Foreign
Minister Marcos Azambuja answered that Brazil wants full access to
financial markets and high technology.

Environment, Energy and Food Supply
6. (U) Former Foreign Minister Luiz Felipe Lampreia and former
National Petroleum Agency (ANP) Director Sebastiao do Rego Barros
agreed that Brazil needs to change its position in relation to
international negotiations on climate change. Brazil has increased
its emissions significantly during the past years, contributing to
the increase in average worldwide temperature by 2-6 degrees
centigrade from 1990-2007, the highest registered change in
temperatures in world history. They argued that Brazil, which they
called one the ten biggest polluters of the planet, should accept
targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Lampreia also noted
that Amazon deforestation has increased by 64 percent in the one
year period between August 2007-August 2008, a sacrifice which has
not necessarily been taken for the benefit of economic growth or an
increase in agricultural production. He noted a very large and
organized campaign to smear biofuels, preying on fears of
deforestation or decreased food supply.

Commerce and Innovation
7. (U) Former Ambassador to the U.S. Roberto Abdenur said that
innovation is the key to Brazil's development. According to him,
Brazil had a steep increase in science production, but the country
still needs more innovation. Abdenur also cited that the
internationalization of Brazilian corporations and intellectual
property are two themes that need special attention as part of
development policy. Finally, Director of the Brazilian Economic
Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean Renato Baumann said
that Brazil needs to integrate more deeply with Mercosur countries.
He affirmed the importance of innovation, but said that Brazil
should try to accomplish innovation together with neighboring
countries through technology exchange.

8. (SBU) Comment. It appears that Brazil's policy elite is
struggling seriously with the question of whether the old ways of
doing diplomacy make sense in light of Brazil's growing economic
heft and global aspirations. We are already beginning to see
Brazilian interest in a more activist foreign policy outside of
South America-e.g., in their leadership in the WTO and in Haiti
peacekeeping, in their growing interest in playing a role in the
Middle East Peace Process, and in their increased outreach to
Africa. The current debate suggests that, over the next decade, we
could well see this trend intensify. Indeed, following the CEBRI
forum, an equally distinguished group which again included Foreign
Minister Amorim gathered in Rio de Janeiro to discuss "How Brazil
Can Be the Best of the BRIC Countries." Among other things, the
group discussed political coordination with other BRIC countries,
South American integration and the value of Mercosur as a trade
bloc, and the importance of Brazil's global leadership in the
context of multilateral organizations such as the UN and the WTO.
Leading 2010 presidential contender Sao Paulo Governor Jose Serra
and former diplomat Sergio Amaral (a key foreign policy advisor to
Serra) both clearly signaled that foreign policy objectives under a

RIO DE JAN 00000236 003 OF 003

new administration might well take a different approach to Mercosur
and South American integration, looking to advance Brazil's
political and trade agenda in a more pragmatic way. End Comment.

9. (U) This cable has been coordinated with and cleared by Embassy


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