We favor dialogue and diplomacy and we favor the best possible coordination between regional peace efforts and the multilateral system embodied in the United Nations. In fact, as a country that is deeply involved in an integration effort in its own region, Brazil looks with respect and draws inspiration from what the African Union has accomplished on the eve of its 50th Anniversary on the institutional front, and you are all aware that we have a South American Community of Nations that has been coordinating with Africa through the ASA Summits and I consider that we need to enhance this coordination. From my perspective, there is much to be learned from the African experience and we will continue working together in this spirit. Let me particularly thank the United Nations Representative for Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Mutaboba, for his briefing, as well as the Minister for Côte d’Ivoire, on behalf of the President of ECOWAS, President Ouattara, and the Commissioner for ECOWAS, for providing a framework for these discussions.
Brazil has condemned in the most vigorous terms the military coup and the interruption of the presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau. We have associated ourselves to the communiqué from the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, CPLP, has adopted on the 14th of April, but we could have equally associated ourselves with the communiqué which was issued by the African Union very swiftly, so may I say in passing, on 17th of April, which suspended with immediate effect the participation of Guinea-Bissau in all activities of the African Union and expressed its readiness to hasten the attainment of the objective of restoration of constitutional order in that country. We also thank Angola for its valuable contribution to the efforts towards the stabilization of Guinea-Bissau and the reform of the defense and security sector. Perhaps most importantly, the Security Council, on the 21st of April issued an extremely firm Presidential Statement, which not only rejects the unconstitutional establishment of a transitional national council by the military leadership in Guinea-Bissau, but also welcomes and supports the active engagement and measures taken by the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, CPLP, and encourages the coordination of these efforts for the immediate restoration of constitutional order. I believe that this is an extremely important manifestation because, as we look to the future, it provides a basis for an inclusive coordination process, involving all these actors, a process which we believe should work towards a political and military stabilization effort under United Nations auspices.
I believe that we have here an opportunity for history not to repeat itself – and I am quoting here the Commissioner from ECOWAS – because in the past, although the problems associated with Guinea-Bissau are relatively small scale compared with many other challenges, including some that will be addressed here today by this Council in Mali and in Sudan, we are dealing with a country with one and a half million inhabitants with relatively small military forces and a coordinated effort by the international community involving all major stakeholders, could go a long way to convey a message of effectiveness in dealing with peace and security challenges. By contrast, failure in Guinea-Bissau I think would convey a very regrettable sense of impotence in the face of an even comparatively minor peace and security challenge.
It is very much in this spirit that Brazil participates in this meeting today and expresses its readiness and willingness to continue working alongside countries members of the African Union under United Nations auspices to produce a coordination process that will lead to a stabilization effort, a mission of stabilization in Guinea-Bissau that will not only allow for the electoral process to conclude in accordance with Guinea-Bissau’s Constitution, but would hopefully create a road map for long term stabilization in Guinea-Bissau through military and political action.
I look forward to continue this dialogue with all of you here, in South America, in New York and at other venues and I am certain that, given the spirit which I have identified here today, we will be able to succeed.
Thank you very much.