Country presided over the collegiate in the 1st month of conflict between Israel and Hamas; Brazilian text about the war was blocked
During the 31 days in which it was in charge of the United Nations Security Council, Brazil acted as a mediator and arbitrator during the conflict in the Middle East, and not as a political actor, according to experts.
Brazil presided over the Security Council in one of the most tense moments in international politics, leading attempts to reach an agreement among its members for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
However, the 4 proposed resolutions on the conflict were rejected. The text articulated by Brazil, despite having received the majority votes (12 votes in favor and 2 abstentions), was rejected by a US veto. To be approved, a resolution cannot receive a veto from any of the 5 permanent members (USA, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom).
Professor of contemporary history at Universidade Federal Fluminense Bernando Rocher said that Brazilian diplomacy tried to be a moderator, and not a proactive political agent, to condemn one or the other side of the conflict, despite statements by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) , sometimes critical of Hamas, sometimes critical of Israel’s military actions.
“Diplomacy remained firm trying to build a ceasefire agreement and the creation of a humanitarian corridor for the population of Gaza, which is being bombed. That was the highlight: not seeking conflict, not deepening tensions, acting as a manager of the cause, and not as a political actor”, he stated.
In Professor Rocher’s assessment, with this behavior, Brazil was well-regarded by the Arab countries, but ended up slightly eroding relations with the United States and Israel. “For the Arab world, Brazil acted with justice and balance, trying to solve a problem, not expanding it.”
Regarding Israel, the professor said that “edges were created because Brazil pointed towards an independent and sovereign path”. For him, Israel demands total submission to its point of view. “Brazil gives legitimacy to the State of Israel, but not in the absolute terms they want.”
As for the US, Rocher stated that the problem is that they do not look favorably on other countries taking the lead at a time like this. “They are unable to withstand much of the protagonism and leadership that Brazilian diplomacy tries to build in various fields”, he stated.
Eduardo Saldanha, professor of International Relations at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, said that the role of moderator played by Brazil in the Security Council makes it impossible to negotiate with Israel. According to Saldanha, for this to happen, Hamas would have to be considered a terrorist group.
“The lack of firmness also causes distrust. This position denotes a weakness in Brazilian diplomacy, and we cannot forget that, at this time of negotiations, the country with which we most need to negotiate is the one directly involved in the conflict. And Brazil is not in a position to mediate anything in relation to Israel”, declared.
For Saldanha, Brazil’s role as president of the UN Security Council can be considered positive, as it tried to articulate a proposed resolution that received the majority of votes, despite not having been approved. However, the professor considers the reluctance to consider Hamas a terrorist group to be negative.
Itamaraty explained that Brazil only considers terrorist groups to be those defined by the UN Security Council, which is not the case with Hamas. Most UN member countries, including European countries such as Norway and Switzerland, as well as China, Russia and Latin American nations such as Mexico and Colombia, follow the organization’s current definition, which does not classify Hamas as a terrorist group.
The researcher at Opeb (Observatory of Foreign Policy and International Insertion of Brazil), Gustavo Mendes de Almeida, considers that Brazil was right by not linking itself directly to Israel and by condemning Hamas’ attacks.
“We see this in the resolution, which was widely accepted. It was vetoed by the United States, which was to be expected given the historical relations that the United States has with Israel, but the fact that countries like France, which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, voted in favor of the Brazilian resolution demonstrates how it was well planned and articulated by Brazilian diplomacy”, he stated.
For Almeida, Brazil’s role as president of the Council strengthens the country’s bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
“Brazil has historically acted peacefully in the international system because it does not have open confrontation with any other country. With this, Brazil remains a moderating agent that tries to pacify relations. Brazil demonstrated to the world the importance that Brazilian diplomacy has in trying to promote peace”, concluded.
With information from Agência Brasil