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Viewing cable 05BRASILIA1044, BRAZIL: FORMER U.S. AMBASSADORS DISCUSS UN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05BRASILIA1044 2005-04-15 19:07 2011-02-13 00:12 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Brasilia
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BRASILIA 001044 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
 
TAGS: PARM PGOV PREL PTER BR UNSC
SUBJECT:  BRAZIL: FORMER U.S. AMBASSADORS DISCUSS UN 
 
REFORM, NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION WITH GOB. 
 
 1. (SBU) Summary. From March 30 to April 1, former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Ambassador Alec Watson met with former Brazilian Ambassador to the U.S. Rubens Barbosa; former Foreign Minister Luiz Lampreia; Marcelo Vasconcelos and Paulo Alvarenga from the US and Canada Division at the Ministry of External Relations (MRE); and Achilles Zaluar from the UN Affairs Division at the MRE to discuss UN reform and nuclear proliferation. Ambassador Pickering is currently the Senior Vice President for International Relations at Boeing and is a member of the Boeing Executive Council. Ambassador Watson is the Managing Director for Hills and Company which provides consulting services to Boeing. Ambassador Watson provided the following readout to EmbOffs. End Summary. 

Former Brazilian Ambassador to U.S. Rubens Barbosa --------------------------------------------- ----- 

2. (SBU) On March 30, Pickering met with former Brazilian Ambassador to the U.S. Rubens Barbosa to discuss UN reform and nuclear proliferation issues. Barbosa told Pickering that the GOB's primary interest was in securing a UNSC permanent seat with veto power. The GOB, Barbosa said, would not support rotational seats for Latin America, but added that the GOB would accept a permanent seat without veto power if offered. Barbosa told Pickering that the GOB is working closely with Japan, Germany, and India. Barbosa further reported that the GOB was pleased that Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) supported the GOB?s UNSC aspirations during his recent trip to Brazil since this is the first time a high-level US government figure has supported publicly the GOB's aspirations. 

3. (SBU) Pickering and Barbosa discussed concern about Brazil?s nuclear aspirations and uranium enrichment program that stemmed from incorrect remarks made by former Minister of Science and Technology Roberto Amaral in early 2003. Amaral stated publicly that the GOB was seeking the full nuclear cycle, including the capacity to develop nuclear weapons. Barbosa confirmed that Amaral's remarks were incorrect and the GOB had no intention of developing or acquiring nuclear weapons due to a provision in the 1988 Constitution. Moreover, Brazil and Argentina established a bilateral agency that inspects and investigates all alleged infractions, Barbosa said. When asked about international nuclear program inspections, Barbosa reported that the GOB is currently negotiating an agreement with the IAEA (Additional Protocol) on a uranium enrichment inspection program. The GOB claimed that it wanted to protect more efficient centrifuge technology that it developed and wanted to avoid sharing this technology with others. Barbosa said he believed that the GOB's unique technology claims were probably false and added that enriched uranium would be used for peaceful purposes. He also noted that the Brazilian navy is working on developing a nuclear powered submarine. 

Former Foreign Minister Ambassador Luiz Lampreia 

--------------------------------------------- --- 

4. (SBU) On March 31, Pickering raised the same issues with former Foreign Minister Luiz Lampreia. Lampreia told Pickering that Foreign Minister Celso Amorim was "obsessed" with securing a permanent UNSC seat and has convinced President Lula that this should be a top priority for Brazilian foreign policy. Lampreia found this approach irrational given the GOB's domestic challenges, especially since the GOB had neither the interest nor the capacity to influence global events. Lampreia further added that while becoming a UNSC permanent member would enhance national prestige, it would not match Brazil's current political and economic interests. 

Ministry of External Relations ------------------------------ 

5. (SBU) On April 1, Pickering met with Marcelo Vasconcelos, Director of the Department of North America and the Caribbean Affairs; Paulo Alvarenga, Chief of the United States and Canada Division; and First Secretary Achilles Zaluar, Deputy Head of the Division for United Nations Affairs. Pickering discussed many of the same issues and asked more specific questions about the GOB's position. Pickering asked about Brazil's views on the French proposal to make NPT withdrawal more difficult or apply residual obligations to those who withdraw. Zaluar noted that the GOB had no position on the proposal and would refrain from adopting one because it will chair the upcoming NPT Review Conference. 

6. (SBU) Pickering inquired about Brazil's view on IAEA Director General El Baradei's proposal for a moratorium on new uranium enrichment and reprocessing plants. Zaluar quickly replied that it was fine, "as long as it does not affect us." He observed that the GOB was expanding its enrichment facility in Resende, Rio de Janeiro state. When Pickering pushed harder on how many centrifuge cascades were operating at Resende and whether they were enriching uranium, Zaluar said he was not sure, but he believed that only one cascade was functioning. Concerning the NPT Additional Protocol, Zaluar said twice that "it was under very active consideration in the Brazilian government." When pressed further, he said that although there were some who support and oppose the protocol the question will be resolved by the President. 

7. (SBU) The MRE was reluctant to comment on the terrorism definition included in the Secretary General's report because it was not an issue they monitored. Nevertheless, Mr. Zaluar said that he was unaware of any GOB problems with the definition. 

8. (SBU) When Pickering asked Zaluar about the GOB's aspirations for a UN permanent seat, Zaluar said that Foreign Minister Amorim said repeatedly that there were several issues: 1) the current P-5 will not give up their veto; 2) Brazil does not want a new category of members other than the current permanent and non-permanent members; 3) many countries do not want more members with vetoes. Finally, Zaluar added, the veto will not be an obstacle, but the formula reconciling these three points will take place only at the end of the negotiating process. The MRE believed that there had been positive signals in support of UN reform, most notably Secretary Rice's public support for Japan and former Secretary Powell?s "non-opposition" stance to UN reform during his trip to Brazil in October 2004. Zaluar believed that this silence was positive, but Pickering cautioned against interpreting USG silence before the USG position was made clear. 

10. (SBU) When Pickering asked about the GOB position on the indicative vote, the P-5 agreement, and not using the veto in certain circumstances, Zaluar seemed to indicate that Brazil viewed positively the idea of allowing P-5 members to vote "no" without using their veto. He said Brazil recognized that Russia and other P-5 members would never accept any change in their P-5 status and attributes, so "this was not a stumbling block," Zaluar added. 

11. (SBU) Pickering asked Zaluar why the UNSC continued to ignore DPRK and Iran. Mr. Zaluar said that some UNSC members would not oppose sanctions on these countries but warned that a consensus was needed since the credibility of the Council was at stake. Zaluar believed that the Europeans remained hopeful on Iran and in the case of the DPRK, UNSC members wanted to allow the six party talks to operate. The UNSC was already engaged in non-proliferation issues (the application of the NPT and IEAE statutes), Zalour added. 

Vice President and Minister of Defense Jose Alencar --------------------------------------------- ------ 

12. (SBU) On April 1, Pickering asked Vice President Alencar about the GOB stance on nuclear proliferation and specifically mentioned the GOB's negotiations with the IAEA. The Vice President said that Brazil "is always in favor of all international measures to end the development of nuclear weapons. Any technological advance in Brazil is directed toward peace." Alencar added, however, that "there are applications of technology to the production of energy to which Brazil must be attentive." "If there is a country that is an example on this issue, it is Brazil," he averred. When asked about the GOB stance on the proposal to establish a five-year moratorium on new enrichment and replenishment efforts, Alencar observed that he could not reply without deeper understanding of the issue. Then he added, "What I can say philosophically is there is no one in a position of responsibility who thinks in any other terms than peace. We do not want war, but if any one occupies one kilometer of our territory we would go to war." 

DANILOVICH