Cablegate: Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (Npt) Review Conference 2010: Reporting


DE RUEHBR #1040/01 2322013
R 202013Z AUG 09




E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/18/2019


Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Lisa Kubiske. Reason: 1.4

1. (C) Post has recently held extensive conversations with Brazilian authorities on the NPT revcon, particularly in connection with the August 5-6 visit of NSC WMD coordinator Samore (reported septel). Brazil believes that a successful revcon will be in its interest but defines success as the absence of public disunity. As a non-nuclear weapons state, Brazil believes that the key to a harmonious revcon will be commitment on the part of the NWS to disarmament and officially places a higher priority on this goal than on reinforcing nonproliferation standards against challenges from Iran and North Korea. Brazil's secondary interest will be in protecting its nuclear power program, especially the navy-run enrichment facility, from closer international scrutiny. Approaches to Brazil should build upon President Obama's Prague speech committing the USG to disarmament and should be crafted to use Brazil's desire to be treated as a world power to ask it to take a leading role in the success of the revcon. Frequent engagement with high-level Brazilian authorities can be useful. As Brazil will begin a term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in January, its approach on revcon-related issues will be calculated to enhance its standing as a key UNSC member. The Ministry of Defense (MOD) should be included prominently in USG outreach as it controls Brazil's enrichment program and has been most resistant to engaging on noproliferation out of concern that such engagement will lead to greater restrictions on its activities. Answers to reftel questions appear in paragraphs 2 and 3 below.

2. (C) Answers to reftel paragraph 6:

-- General attitude: The GOB supports all major arms control regimes. Brazil is strongly influenced by its own decision to forego its nuclear weapons program and join the NPT. It views the NWS' commitment to disarmament as the core of the Treaty and has conditioned further participation in international nonproliferation efforts on greater disarmament. Brazil has reacted negatively to the decision to help India's nuclear industry, regarding this as rewarding India for not joining the NPT.

-- Position in CD and Revcon: Brazil is likely to support further arms control measures (CTBT, FMCT) and look for the revcon to place additional emphasis on disarmament.

-- Partner countries: Brazil coordinates its nuclear policy with Argentina and should be expected to work with other NNWS to tilt the revcon toward disarmament over nonproliferation. Brazilian Ministry of External Relations (MRE) authorities have indicated an openness to working with the USG and other NWS prior to the revcon. While Brazil's relationship with Iran does not extend to close cooperation or partnership, it is worth noting that Brazil maintains a cordial commercial relationship with Iran and generally refrains from direct criticism of Iran's nuclear program, preferring to blame proliferation problems on the slow pace of disarmament, regional tensions and Israel's nuclear program.

-- Key GOB personnel: Brazilian foreign policy is conducted by the MRE. Under Secretary Vera Machado will be in the lead for the revcon and will coordinate with Brazilian Ambassadors in New York, Vienna and Geneva. Because of its ownership of the enrichment process, the MOD will also play a key role and can be expected to resist any pressure to curb member states' right to enrichment or additional scrutiny of enrichment facilities.

-- Role in international organizations: Brazil is one of the leaders of the developing world in international organizations. As a NNWS that gave up its nuclear program, the GOB believes it carries a great deal of influence among other NNWS.

-- Policy process: The MRE is key in setting Brazil's nonproliferation and arms control policies. The Presidency, MOD, Government Security Office and National Commission on Nuclear Energy are also involved. MRE will consult with these other agencies and prodice policies for Presidency endorsement that reflect everyone's input. As a result, one Ministry, in the case of nonproliferation issues usually the MOD, can often effectively veto new initiatives by blocking consensus.

-- Key policy factors: A key foreign policy concern is attaining a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. To gain this, the GOB tries to avoid taking controversial positions and track its policies with what will appeal to the largest number of UN members, i.e. the NAM. The GOB will not be above grandstanding to the NNWS by opposing the P5 if it believes this will build support for Brazil's cause, but will strive for consensus and the outward appearance of unity.

-- Arms Control Personnel: Brazilian missions in New York, Geneva and Vienna do not have full time employees dedicated to arms control and nonproliferation, although these issues compose a large portion of the work of these Brazilian missions.

-- Key Meetings: The MRE augments its overseas missions during key meetings with staff from the Division of Disarmament and Sensitive Technologies.

-- Role of non-government entities: The nuclear power industry, academia and NGOs play little or no role in the formation of Brazilian policy. Nuclear power is seen as important for the country's long-term energy needs, and Brazil's nuclear power program received a strong official endorsement when it was identified in the 2008 Defense Strategy as vital to national security. Some NGOs have expressed reservations about the environmental effects of nuclear power, but these have little influence.

3. (C) Answers to reftel paragraph 7:

-- As noted in paragraph 2, Brazil often aligns itself with other developing countries. There is a lingering
view among many Brazilian elites that Brazil gave up its nuclear option too easily, a view seemingly justified by the supposedly advantageous deal India received. This has fostered something of an inferiority complex among Brazilians strengthening the view that NWS disarmament has been inadequate and should be the highest NPT priority. Brazil will align with NPT members taking this position and will be less forceful in supporting nonproliferation measures as a result, but will seek consensus on all issues rather than public divisions.

-- Brazil sees itself as a leader of developing countries and will try to shape the overall positions of its colleagues. As noted above, the Brazilian priority for the revcon is to reach consensus and avoid dissunity that would undermine the overall effectiveness of the Treaty regime.

-- Brazilian representatives will receive detailed guidance from Brasilia and will have little flexibility without consulting the capital.


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