This article traces the reaction of the Brazilian government to the emergence of the R2P norm. After an initial period of rejection, followed by a period of absence from UN debates, Brazil has recently engaged cautiously with R2P. The article gives a detailed analysis of the origins of the Latin American system of legal protections that resulted in an interpretation in the region that reduces sovereignty almost exclusively to the inviolability of borders. This interpretation is at the heart of Brazil’s rejection of R2P’s tenets regarding the use of force. It does not stand in the way, however, of its contributing decisively to the other two pillars identified in the Secretary General’s Implementation Report. The paper identifies two main factors that motivated the gradual opening of the Brazilian foreign policy establishment to R2P, one external and one internal. Externally, the strong endorsement of R2P in the World Summit Outcome Document did much to facilitate Brazil’s rapprochement with the concept. Concomitantly, Brazil’s rise as an emerging power has increasingly created tensions between regional traditions and still-dominant Northern views of the responsibilities that accompany Brazil’s global aspirations. Brazil is in the process of developing an approach to peace operations and intervention that defines responsibility separately from the use of force, obviating the effects of this perceived tension. As a result, Brazil has become an important peacekeeping troop contributor and is no longer a vocal detractor of R2P. It has begun adapting the non-military elements of the principle to its policy goals and looks set to be an active and important participant in the concept’s further implementation.
A.J. Thomas Jr.‘Non-Intervention and Public Order in the Americas’Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (American Society of International Law)53: 72-80 (1959) p. 73; José A. Cabranes ‘Human Rights and Non-Intervention in the Inter-American System’ Michigan Law Review 65/6: 1147-1182 (1967) pp. 1148-1150.
Cabranes‘Human Rights and Non-Intervention in the Inter-American System’ p. 1148. For the original text of the Monroe Doctrine delivered in a State of the Union address see http://www.law.ou.edu/ushistory/monrodoc.shtml.
Kai Michael Kenkel‘Global Player, or Watching from the Sidelines? The “Responsibility to Protect”: definition and implications for Brazil’Revista da Escola de Guerra Naval12 pp. 6-59 (2008); p.26. Available in Portuguese at http://www.egn.mar.mil.br/arquivos/revistaEgn/dezembro2008/Global Player ou Espectador nas Margens.pdf. Accessed 28 February 2011.
Brazil Ministry of DefenceEstratégia Nacional de Defesa (Brasília: Ministry of Defence2008) http://www.mar.mil.br/diversos/estrategia_defesa_nacional_portugues.pdf p.8. On how historical experiences have conditioned security policy in Latin America particularly as it relates to intervention see Monica Herz ‘Concepts of Security in South America’ International Peacekeeping 17/5 pp. 598-612 (2010).
Amorim p. 141. Unless otherwise noted all translations in the text are by the author.
Celso Amorim‘Política Externa do Governo Lula: os dois primeiros anos’Análise de Conjuntura OPSA4 p. 12 (2005) http://observatorio.iuperj.br/pdfs/5_analises_Artigo%20Celso%20Amorim.pdf accessed 28 February 2011.
See Alex J. BellamyGlobal Politics and the Responsibility to Protect: From Words to Deeds (New York: Routledge2011) p. 28 Jennifer M. Welsh ‘Implementing the “Responsibility to Protect”: Where Expectations Meet Reality’ Ethics & International Affairs 24/4 415-430 (2010) p. 425.