Cablegate: Brazilian Views of 2009 Unga
DE RUEHBR #1093 2431938
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 311938Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4979
INFO RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE 0231
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 9863
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8123
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 4468
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0324
UNCLAS BRASILIA 001093
DEPARTMENT FOR IO/UNP
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNGA BR
SUBJECT: BRAZILIAN VIEWS OF 2009 UNGA
REF: BRASILIA 1076
1. Brazil's priorities for this year's UNGA are little different than in previous years: UNSC reform, Haiti and stability in Latin America. With recent controversy in the region surrounding the announcement of the U.S.-Colombia Defense Cooperation Agreement, Ministry for External Relations (MRE) UN Director Gilda Neves reports that MRE will recommend that President Lula use his speech to the UNGA to highlight the principles of national sovereignty and the undesireability of having foreign forces stationed in the region. According to Neves, Brazil favors a meeting between President Obama and UNASUL leaders on the margins of the UNGA. This hard line approach, combined with private overtures to the USG, is consistent with the approach MRE officials outlined in ref a of criticizing the USG publicly to gain favor with Venezuela and other neighboring governments that would help Brazil moderate their reactions.
2. For Brazil, a key factor for this year's UNGA will be preparation for Brazil's expected 2010 return to the Security Council as a non-permanent member. Brazilian leaders plan to begin bilateral consultations with UNSC members, particularly the P5, to formulate positions on key issues the the Council is expected to address in 2010. According to Neves, the GOB believes that the UN has "room to do more" to manage potential conflicts in such places as Guinea Bissau and East Timor. COMMENT: The GOB considers the upcoming UNSC term to be important as a means of maing Brazil's case, particularly to other developing countries, for a permamnent seat. END COMMENT.
3. Neves expressed pessimism toward the UNSC reform process. She saw the inter governmental negotiations as deadlocked by competing interests with little chance of consensus and was dismissive of potential compromise proposals. According to Neves, the best chance for progress would be if the USG were to come out strongly in favor of a proposal for a reformed UNSC and bring along other P5 members. This would result in a "large majority" in the GA. Neves saw France as most sympathetic to Brazil's aspirations but admitted that the French were more concerned with keeping their own UNSC seat in the face of pressure to avoid over representation of Europe, than in helping Brazil.
4. Having recently visited Brazilian peacekeepers in Haiti, Neves commented that while there had been progress in building civil society over the last year, the UN mission suffered from inadequate resources. Although the April 2009 donors conference resulted in $300 million in pledges, none of these funds have begun to support UN activities. The increase in the numbers have Brazilian military engineers has provided a much needed capability to MINUSTAH, but the Brazilians are limited in what they can do by a lack of materials. The UN has provided what it can, and Brazil is now looking for national contributions that will allow its engineers to take on more infrastructure building projects.