With expressive voting, Brazil returned, this Friday (11), to the rotating member of the UN Security Council. According to the voting results published by Volkan Bozkir, president of the 75th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Brazilian candidacy for the post in the entity responsible for ensuring peace in the world obtained 181 votes out of a possible 193.
“The election demonstrates broad recognition of Brazil’s contribution to the issues of international peace and security,” wrote the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil in a publication on social networks.
In a note sent to the press, Itamaraty stated that “Brazil will seek to translate into tangible contributions the defense of peace and the peaceful settlement of disputes” and that, in the Council, it intends to “strengthen the UN peace missions and defend the mandates that corroborate the interdependence between security and development.”
The ministry also claims that the country “will be in a privileged position to attest to its commitment to reform” of the entity. Alongside India, Germany and Japan, Brazil forms the so-called G4, a group that is also seeking a seat as a permanent member —and without the power of veto— in the Security Council.
The inclusion of permanent members, however, depends on a reform in the system that has no perspective of happening —one of the main oppositions comes from China— and which will be one of the Brazilian priorities during the term.
Apart from Brazil, they were also elected as rotating members in the Council of Albania, the United Arab Emirates, Gabon and Ghana. The countries elected will replace Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam.
The Security Council is composed of five permanent members with veto rights — the United States, China, Russia, United Kingdom and France — and ten rotating members, elected for terms of two years each. Victory required the support of two-thirds of the voting member states.
Although the campaign for the vacancy was carried out under the erosion of Jair Bolsonaro’s image abroad, the conquest of the position on the council was already expected. The expressive vote, however, exceeded expectations on the part of diplomats, who feared that a possible negative impact would translate into greater loss of prestige through fewer votes from member countries.
Now, Brazil will be in the rotating post of the Security Council from January 2022 to December 2023. As the presidency of the entity is also rotating — the countries take turns monthly, in alphabetical order —, it is very likely that Brazil will take command from the highest level of the UN at least once until the end of its term.
Board vacancies are defined by geographic areas. Among the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, there has been a tradition, since 2006, of no competition for candidacies and, therefore, a rotation of countries is organized in a list assembled years in advance.
In 2019, El Salvador broke the pact and tried to launch an alternative candidacy to that of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, but had only six votes, against 185 obtained by the Caribbean island.
The last time Brazil participated in the Security Council as a rotating member was in 2011, during the Dilma Rousseff government. The next Brazilian candidacy was only scheduled for 2033, but, in order not to stay out of the organ for more than two decades, Brazil negotiated an exchange with Honduras, which would be the natural candidate for this year. The agreement was signed in 2018, by the Michel Temer government.
Today, Mexico and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are the current rotating board members for Latin America and the Caribbean. Now, Brazil will occupy the post next to Mexico and, next year, Ecuador will take the place of the Mexicans, if there is nothing unforeseen.