After four years under the rule of a far-right government, Brazil’s foreign policy is breathing fresh air. The new guidelines can be seen through the internal structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, known as Itamaraty, as well as by the first decisions of the body recently inaugurated by the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Workers’ Party), which has Minister Mauro Vieira leading the acts.
This Tuesday (3), the newly appointed Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, in Jerusalem. The political gesture by the Jewish Power Party, which is part of the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu, was seen as a provocation by the Palestinian authorities, which classified Ben-Gvir as an “extremist”.
In a statement, Itamaraty said “Actions that, by their very nature, stimulate changes in the status of holy places in Jerusalem, constitute a violation of the duty to care for mutual understanding, tolerance and peace”.
“Brazil reiterates its commitment to the two-State solution, with Palestine and Israel coexisting in a peaceful and safe environment within its mutually agreed borders that are also internationally recognized. In this regard, the Brazilian government urges both sides to refrain from acts that damage the mutual trust required for urgent talks aimed at ending the conflict,” Minister Mauro Vieira said.
This stance differs from that of Brazilian authorities during the Bolsonaro (Liberal Party) government. Bolsonaro tried to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem at the beginning of his administration, mimicking then-US President Donald Trump. Tel Aviv is the center of foreign diplomatic representation in Israel, while both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as the capital city of their states.
Faced with pressure from Arab countries and their numerous commercial agreements with the Brazilian agribusiness sector, Bolsonaro’s plan was never carried out.
The latest Brazilian position on Israel displeased federal deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro (Liberal Party). On his social media accounts, he criticized the measure.
Agreement with the UN
Another change is that Brazil is rejoining the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The initiative by the United Nations Organization establishes goals and commitments to strengthen migrants’ rights, such as the suggestion that countries make no distinction between migrants who hold the necessary documents and those fleeing armed conflict zones without the documentation needed to enter a new country.
“Brazil’s return to GCM restates the Brazilian government’s commitment to protect and promote the rights of over 4 million Brazilians living abroad,” reads Itamaraty in its official statement this Thursday (5).
When announcing Brazil’s withdrawal from the Global Compact in 2019 – a measure approved by the UN with the endorsement of 152 countries – then Minister Ernesto Araújo stated that migration “should not be treated as a global issue”.
Araújo was also a supporter of conspiracy theories such as that covid-19 is a “comunavirus” and that there is an alleged “cultural Marxism” attempt.
Women in power
There are also relevant measures on the agenda of Itamaraty. Ambassador Maria Laura da Rocha was sworn into office as the first-ever woman to be Secretary General of Foreign Affairs. In her speech, Rocha highlighted Itamaraty will recreate the Race and Gender Committee, which had been terminated by the Bolsonaro government.
“As the first woman to be appointed Secretary General of Foreign Affairs, I will spare no effort to shed light on what the House gets, in many senses, from valuing its female workers and the diversity of its staffers. Gender equality must hover over all the actions of the Ministry, guiding all of us in every moment. We will all gain from this engagement. It is necessary to deepen the trend of increasing the number of Black men and women in the diplomatic career and leadership positions, expanding their opportunities in the highest posts of the career and positions of command in the Secretariat of State and abroad,” stated Rocha.
Publicação de: Brasil de Fato – Blog