Sat, Jul 20, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Brazil’s reputation for soft power needs to be hardened

Because of Brazil’s abundance of natural resources and increasing global competition for them, a strong military is needed to head off threats and ensure peace

By Celso Amorim

At the same time, Brazil is pursuing increased bilateral defense cooperation with African partners. With our neighbors on both shores of the South Atlantic, Brazil is working closely to strengthen the Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic (ZPCSA), which aims to keep the ocean free from rivalries foreign to it and to keep it a nuclear weapons free zone.

Brazil is also reaching out to other emerging countries, such as its fellow BRICS countries, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and the two other members of the IBSA Dialogue Forum, India and South Africa. For example, Brazil conducts IBSAMAR, a regular trilateral naval exercise, with South Africa and India. More broadly, Brazil is exploring ways to cooperate in the joint development of various defense technologies.

Through such endeavors, Brazil hopes to contribute to a more balanced international order, one less subject to hegemonies of any kind, without losing sight of the importance of mutually beneficial partnerships with developed countries.

Even as Brazil hardens its soft power, it remains deeply committed to the path of dialogue, conflict prevention, and the negotiated settlement of disputes.

The presence of Brazilian peacekeepers in countries like Haiti and Lebanon underscores Brazil’s contribution to maintaining peace and security worldwide. In the 21st century, a truly stable global order will depend on a legitimate and effective UN Security Council, one that reflects the plurality of the emerging multipolar world.

Celso Amorim is the Brazilian minister of defense. He served as Brazilian minister of foreign affairs from 1993 to 1994 and from 2003 to 2010.

Copyright: Project Syndicate

This story has been viewed 1296 times.
TOP top