Thursday, 10 March 2011

Brazil: A new posture on human rights

On 28th February, Secretary for Human Rights Maria do Rosário addressed the UN Council on Human Rights in Geneva. Her speech was awaited with trepidation, as it was expected to signal, under Dilma Rousseff's stewardship, a radical departure from Lula's policies of abstaining from sanctions to governments that are perpetrators of human rights violations. Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Sudan, and Sri Lanka are examples of this policy of omission.

Do Rosário asked for an ample debate about human rights 'in all countries' (which made Iran feel uncomfortable) and specifically that Libya should be suspended from membership in all human rights bodies and agencies of the United Nations. The minister recalled that, for years, American and European countries remained silent vis-à-vis dictatorships that were politically convenient to them. She did not mention Brazil's recent silences vis-à-vis gross violators of human rights.

On behalf of Rousseff, she invited the UN Human Rights Council, which traditionally convenes in Geneva, to meet in Brazil.

For more news and expert analysis about Brazil, please see Brazil Focus.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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