Foto: Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula
Brazil's former external relations minister, Celso Amorim, said that Brazil is too important and cannot stay out of global issues, underpinning Brazil's interim government's mistake of not continuing what had been implemented in over a decade and which brought international recognition to Brazil.
Speaking at the conference about Brazil's foreign policy, promoted by Instituto Lula, the Perseu Abramo Foundation, Frente Brasil Popular, the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (Clacso) and the GR-RI (a discussion group created by trade unions and academics to discuss Brazilian foreign relations), Amorim remembered that former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, for whom he worked as foreign relations and defence minister, saw Brazil as nation that had much to contribute to world's fight for social justice.
“President Lula showed that it didn't make sense for Brazil to behave itself in a modest fashion. Brazil is not modest. A country that has the [geographical] dimensions it has not only had to react more proudly, but it had to be one of the builders of the international agenda,” he told the more than 700 people who went to Casa de Portugal on Monday night.
Aligning himself with others who spoke before him such a Luis Dulci (former minister and director of Instituto Lula) and Pablo Gentili (general director of Clacso), Amorim criticised the current changes in Brazil's foreign policy brought about by the interim government.
Gentili reminded the audience that one of the purpose of Monday's debate was to understand and find ways to better organize and articulate popular movements that are facing the same problems throughout the continent.
Amorim pointed out that the idea was to diversify Brazilian foreign relations in which not only the regional ties with Latin America would be strengthened but also ties with African countries would be expanded, in many cases naturally.
“Mercosur is not only about creating a free trade zone, it's about creating a Latin American identity,” he said.
In relation to Africa Amorim reminded the audience that “for every African problem there is a Brazilian solution”, in a way of showing how solidarity works in the diplomatic world.
“The truth is that Brazil became very respected all over the world,” he said. “The propensity of Lula towards dialogue only improved our relations with the rest of the word and the conscience of wanting a fairer country is what made Lula develop such an active and proud foreign policy”.
Amorim concluded his speech by stressing justice and solidarity between nations and the Brazil must be present in the top international issues “...always with a sense of justice and solidarity. If foreign policy is not active nor proud, then it is not a foreign policy”.