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BRICS aids Brazil global presence- Rousseff
June 18, 2013, 9:58 am


The Brazilian leader said global organisations had to adapt to the realities of today’s world [AP]

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has said that the country’s BRICS membership with emphasis on close relations in the South-South axis has aided Brazil immensely and is a key foreign policy element.

“This strategic decision has helped Brazil reinforce its international presence and collaborated in ensuring that Brazilian personalities currently hold posts of global relevance”, said President Rousseff at a graduation ceremony at the Rio Branco Institute, Brazil’s school of diplomacy.

The president mentioned recent appointments of Jose Graziano as head of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and Roberto Azevedo, as director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as triumphs for the BRICS over the traditional western economic powerhouses.

Rousseff also called for an immediate and far-reaching change in the structure of global governance, to give emerging nations greater decision-making power in organisations such as the International Monetary Forum (IMF), the World Bank and the United Nations Security Council.

The Brazilian leader said global organisations had to adapt to the realities of today’s world.

“Global governance needs urgent and deep change,” said the Brazilian leader.

Rousseff also criticised the substitution of broad, multilateral trade agreements with bilateral trade agreements that have protectionist results and isolate countries.

“Seeing the crisis, we did not propose, do not propose and will not propose isolation (and) protectionism, but the consolidation of our cooperation, broadening and strengthening regional ties,” she said.

“Our foreign trade problems can only be resolved within a multilateral and regional framework. Bilateral agreements, especially those between economies that are dissimilar, often offer the illusion of immediate benefits, but end up having the opposite effect,” the president said.

Rousseff’s statements come as negotiations are underway between the US and the European Union (EU) for a free trade agreement, and precede the swearing in next September of the new director general of the WTO, who will seek to restart the Doha Round.

Rousseff defended increasing cooperation and integration with other developing countries, such as through the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and ties with nations in South America, Africa and the Arab world.

“All these mechanisms did not distance us from the developed countries,” said Rousseff, adding “we have extremely qualified ties with the European Union and the United States.”

The Brazilian president criticised military and other types of intervention in political crisis in other countries, in place of pursuing dialogue and peace talks, referring to violent conflicts such as that between Palestine and Israel, and the 26-month-long Syrian crisis.

“This leads us to a clear defence of multilateralism as a condition for the affirmation of the unique personality of all nations, including Brazil, multilateralism as the only instrument capable of resolving severe global differences,” Rousseff said.

Any action should be decided “in an environment of mutual respect, without unilateral imposition. In fact, this is a characteristic that engenders respect for Brazil among many nations,” said Rousseff.

Source: Agencies