Brazilian Defense Minister Warns about Multiple Perceptions in the Continent

Brazilian Defense Minister Warns about Multiple Perceptions in the Continent

By Dialogo
October 10, 2012

The creation of an Inter-American defense system is threatened by the existing “multiple perceptions” in the continent, Brazilian Minister of Defense Celso Amorim told AFP on October 8. The official added that cooperation must be based on “new premises.”

“We can cooperate on issues of health, defense, and natural disasters, always with the intervention of civil authorities. However, the idea of an Inter-American defense system, first conceived after World War II, has no connection with today’s multi-polar world, threatened by several dangers, and where there is not even an homogeneous continent,” he indicated.

“We think that we should move away from considering an Inter-American defense system, while we should approach defense cooperation mechanisms between countries in the Americas, for which there is an urgent need,” explained Amorim, who participated in discussions during the 10th Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas on October 8, hours before returning to his country.

The effectiveness of the Inter-American defense system was one of the main issues discussed at the conference – in which 29 out of 34 countries participated .

Amorim highlighted that his country’s priorities are the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the South American Defense Council.

The official stated that Brazil’s and other regional countries’ main defense concerns have to do more with natural resources, such as the capacity for food production, and main water and energy reserves, than external threats from countries.

However, he said, international terrorism, illegal immigration and the proliferation of weapons, are not an issue for the region.

Brazil’s current defense minister and former minister of foreign relations said that he considered unlikely the approval of an initiative promoted by Chile and supported by the United States to create a coordination mechanism for humanitarian assistance in natural disasters.

“There might be progress in understanding how to cooperate in natural disasters, without creating a unique and unified system,” he said.

“We can also keep moving forward in peacekeeping cooperation alternatives, without forgetting that United Nations and the Security Council are the rightful institutions to approve the initiatives,” he concluded.

It is important to consider that there are different perceptions, besides that it is very difficult to achieve similar perceptions. However, a great effort should be always done to get a general agreement, respecting the different and supreme countries’ interests. Hobert