The Foreign Minister’s first year

No shortage of unkept promises for Mauro Vieira, who has now been in office for a year

Exactly a year ago, the diplomat Mauro Vieira took office as Minister of Foreign Relations – a position previously held by Luiz Alberto Figueiredo. He took over the task of restoring the prestige of the Ministry, affected by heavy budget cuts in recent years, but also of fulfilling the promises made by his predecessors.

This is the case of the Foreign Policy White Paper, a public document that will contain the principles and priorities of Brazilian international policy, guaranteeing the transparency and consistency of the positions taken by the country. According to the former minister Figueiredo, the White Paper was originally due to be released in December 2014. The deadline expired over a year ago and there are still no signs that it will be published any time soon, in spite of the freedom of information request filed by Conectas to discover the whereabouts of the document.

In a talk given in October at TEDx Goiânia, Camila Asano, coordinator of Foreign Policy at Conectas, spoke about how the lack of instruments such as the White Paper make it difficult for civil society to participate in the shaping of foreign policy. As an example, she cited the recent abstention by Brazil in the UN General Assembly on human rights violations in Iran.

“It makes no sense not having information on what Brazil has been doing internationally in terms of human rights,” said Asano. “Ultimately, when Brazil defends one position or another concerning an abuse or, worse, when it decides to sit on the fence, it is doing so in our name,” she added.

Watch the full talk by Camila Asano at TEDx Goiânia:

Find out more

Receive Conectas updates by email