Brazil is expected to be elected a rotating member of the UN Security Council for the 11th time this Friday (11), at the end of a campaign led under the erosion of Jair Bolsonaro’s image abroad .
If the election is confirmed – the country is the only candidate in the group that encompasses Latin America and the Caribbean – Brazil will become, along with Japan, one of the most frequent participants in the body responsible for ensuring peace in the world.
The Security Council is made up of five permanent members with veto power – the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France – and ten rotating members, elected for a term of two years each. Victory requires the votes of two-thirds of the 193 member states of the General Assembly.
With its lax policies on pandemics and environmental issues, Bolsonaro has come under harsh criticism from leaders around the world and is viewed negatively by much of the international community.
Despite this, Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN, asserts that there was no resistance to the candidacy and that the country’s tradition and its diplomatic network help to ensure the predictability of negotiations in processes like this, regardless of who occupies the Plateau. .
“We have experience, Brazil has a large diplomatic network around the world. […] The country is chosen on its own merits in its capacity, not that of government, ”the ambassador said.
“No country is immune to criticism, every country has its flaws. But I campaigned clearly stating that Brazil will listen to all member countries before and after the elections. In this whole process, I have never heard of any difficulties with Brazil as a candidate. There was no resistance. “
Bolsonaro takes an aggressive stance towards China and several European countries, has no engagement with African nations, and his government’s alignment with Israel generates conflicts with Arab and Islamic countries. Due to the clashes and rifts, some in Itamaraty claim to believe that Brazil may receive fewer votes this Friday than the near unanimity it had in previous disputes – not enough to lose the election, but to signal that under Bolsonaro, the country has less prestige.
Costa Filho, in turn, claims that it is not possible to predict the exact number of votes the country will garner and considers his concern to be to maintain the good reputation the country has on the council.
“Here [na ONU] nobody says they won’t vote for you. […] Our concern is not to reach a specific number, it is to join the council and maintain the image of a serious, hard-working country, dedicated to the maintenance of peace and security. “
The Ambassador reinforces the idea that Brazil has a history of contributing to the Security Council – out of the 72 peacekeeping missions already authorized by the UN, the country has participated in 41 – and good traffic between states members.
“Brazil is a country which, due to a series of historical, cultural and geographic factors, maintains a fluid and open dialogue with virtually the entire international community, without distinction, and is respected in this role of bridge between various interests.
Alongside India, Germany and Japan, Brazil forms what is known as the G4, a group that is also seeking a seat as a permanent – and non-vetoed – member of the Security Council.
The inclusion of permanent members, however, depends on a reform of the system that is unlikely to happen – one of the main oppositions comes from China.
Costa Filho says that among the seven priorities of the Brazilian campaign to the council, which include greater participation of women in the peacekeeping process, for example, is the demand for structural reform of the entity.
“We are fully aware that this issue is not negotiated in the council, but it is a sign that we maintain this priority in our foreign policy agenda,” said the ambassador.
If it obtains enough votes this Friday, Brazil will occupy the rotating seat of the Security Council from January 2022 to December 2023. As the presidency of the entity is also rotating – the countries take turns monthly, in alphabetical order – it is very likely. that Brazil assume at least once the command of the most important UN body until the end of its mandate.
Vacancies on the board are defined by geographic area. Among the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, there has been a tradition, since 2006, of non-competition for applications and, therefore, a rotation of countries is organized in a list made up years in advance.
In 2019, El Salvador broke the pact and tried to launch an alternative candidacy to that of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, but obtained only six votes, against 185 obtained by the Caribbean island.
The last time Brazil participated in the Security Council as a rotating member was in 2011, under the government of Dilma Rousseff. The next Brazilian candidacy was not expected until 2033, but, in order not to stay out of the body for more than two decades, Brazil negotiated an exchange with Honduras, which would be the natural candidate for this year. . The agreement was signed in 2018 by the Michel Temer government.
Today, Mexico and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are the current rotating board members for Latin America and the Caribbean. If elected, Brazil will take the post alongside Mexico, and next year Ecuador will take over from the Mexicans, if there is no unforeseen event.