Cablegate: Brazil Response: Unga Third Committee Priorities
DE RUEHBR #1280 3031945
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301945Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5308
INFO RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 0062
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8328
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 0025
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0340
UNCLAS BRASILIA 001280
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UN PHUM PREL BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL RESPONSE: UNGA THIRD COMMITTEE PRIORITIES
REF: SECSTATE 109397
1. On October 30, Poloff delivered reftel demarche to Nathanael Souza e Silva of the Human Rights Division of the Ministry of External Affairs (MRE). Poloff also provided nonpapers on: no-action motions, Iran, Burma, DPRK and the elections resolution.
2. NO-ACTION MOTIONS: Brazil opposes no-action motions as a matter of principle. Silva said that issues raised in the Third Committee that are within its purview should be debated.
3. IRAN: Brazil traditionally abstains on the Iran resolution, Silva said, because of important bilateral ties and Iran's cooperation with multilateral human rights mechanisms. He told Poloff that the MRE is under pressure from the Brazilian Baha'i community and Brazilian Jewish community to be tougher on Iran. He said that President Lula, who is personally disturbed by President Ahmadinehad's Holocaust denial, would raise that issue along with persecution and harassment of Baha'is during Ahmadinehad's impending visit to Brazil. Poloff stressed the more serious abuses in Iran, including torture and summary executions, to which Silva replied that these matters are properly handled in the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) with a univeral periodic review (UPR).
4. BURMA: Brazil will likely vote for the resolution on Burma because Burma has refused a UPR, which in Brazil's view is the legitimate multilateral mechanism for evaluating the human rights situation in a country.
5. DPRK: Poloff noted that the DPRK is one of the most closed societies in the world and has never permitted the UN Special Rapporteur to visit the country. The situation for the North Korean people is dire and cannot be ignored by the international community. Silva responded that although Brazil had supported resolutions on DPRK in the past, last year Brazil abstained because the DPRK had made a "bilateral commitment" to undergo a UPR. Silva said if the DPRK failed to prepare a credible report on its human rights situation for the HRC, Brazil's vote in the UNGA could change again.
6. DEFAMATION OF RELIGIONS: Silva was surprised that the issue of defamation of religions was likely to be raised in the Third Committee as he had understood that the matter already had been settled by consensus, with the active involvement of Egypt, in the last meeting of the HRC. Silva noted that Brazil's view of defamation of religions is in line with the U.S. view and that Brazil supported the U.S. freedom of expression resolution in the HRC.
7. ELECTIONS RESOLUTION: Silva said that Brazil would support the resolution on free elections.
8. CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD: Silva believed it would be difficult to change the CRC's wording to meet the objections of the United States or Somalia. He said he would nevertheless encourage the Brazilian Mission in New York to be in touch with the U.S. Mission to see if it is possible to find common ground.
9. ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN: In principle Brazil is supportive of all efforts to eliminate discriminatory laws against women, Silva said.