As the world’s attention focuses on the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and the race for an unprecedented vaccination campaign in history, the Brazilian speech at the opening of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council the man of the United Nations (United Nations), conducted remotely Monday (22), he shows how the retrograde attitude of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has kept the country away from discussions on the most urgent international challenges in the field of human rights the man.
President Jair Bolsonaro’s government has appointed two of its most senior representatives, Ministers Ernesto Araújo (Foreign Affairs) and Damares Alves (Women, Family and Human Rights), to defend their problematic response to the Covid-19 pandemic and his crusaders against the autonomy of women over their bodies.
Once again we have seen the Bolsonaro government use the international platform of the UN to engage in local politics and invite its most radical supporters. What will the world’s leading democracies think when they hear from the Brazilian Chancellor that societies “get used to the idea that freedom can be sacrificed in the name of health” in a direct critique of social isolation measures adopted? by so many countries as a solution, so far, more effective to prevent the spread of the virus?
Bolsonarism is a master at appealing to the discourse of freedom while restricting rights, destabilizing democracy and attacking minorities. However, this false dichotomy between defending freedom and saving lives is not supported by any serious discussion of human rights.
If we Brazilians, in part, are already used to the attitudes of President Jair Bolsonaro to minimize the risks of Covid-19, refuse masks and encourage agglomeration, in the face of the international community, scientific negationism only puts Brazil in a position of political irrelevance.
It was up to Damares Alves to distort government measures in favor of populations most vulnerable to the pandemic, such as the elderly and indigenous people. The minister declared that “we guarantee a priority vaccination of the elderly, carried out in parallel with that of health professionals and traditional peoples”. But, while the country has no date to conclude the vaccination of groups, even priority groups, civil society has had to resort to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the STF (Supreme Federal Court) to guarantee the protection of traditional populations, such as indigenous people. and quilombolas.
Finally, the minister still failed to highlight the most significant – and also the most tragic – result of the Bolsonaro administration in response to the pandemic: nearly 250,000 lives lost to date. Even so, according to the minister, the government’s priority is the defense of life “from conception”, in a clear message that abortion is what really cares the government and although the concept of life disproves conception, it does not find support in the Constitution.
With their speeches, Damares Alves and Ernesto Araújo give problematic indications on the positioning of the country, in the coming weeks, in the negotiations and the votes on the UN resolutions on the right to privacy in the digital age , freedom of religion, access to vaccines and women’s rights.
It should be remembered that the country lost its strong ally with the defeat at the polls of Donald Trump, now leaving the alliance in the anti-gender crusade with countries with a bad reputation in terms of human rights such as Saudi Arabia, the Poland and Hungary. In this way, Brazil crystallizes its international reputation as a representative of the delay.