Brazil military leaders restate commitment to democracy

They spoke at the 15th Conference of Defense Ministers in the Americas

Military agents representing Brazil at the 15th Conference of Defense Ministers in the Americas said today (Jul 26) they recognize the role of security forces in protecting democracy and sovereignty, while respecting the law in their own countries.

“We must always seek the consolidation and preservation of democratic processes in our region—a basic requirement for development, stability, and solidarity as guarantees of mutual security in our hemisphere,” the head for Education and Culture of Brazil’s Ministry of Defense, Lieutenant Luis Roberto do Carmo Lourenço, said as he read his speech to representatives from the 34 countries attending the event in Brasília.

“We believe and recognize that the role of our security forces is the defense of national sovereignty, respecting the relevant constitutional precepts and international conventions,” Lourenço added.

Shortly before, during the protocol opening address, Brazil’s Defense Minister Paulo Sérgio Nogueira said that Brazil respects the Inter-American Democratic Charter. “On behalf of Brazil, I show respect for the Inter-American Democratic Charter and its values, principles, and mechanisms,” he declared.

Approved in 2001 by the Organization of American States (OAS), the charter reaffirms, among other things, that “any unconstitutional alteration or interruption of the democratic order in a state of the Hemisphere constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the participation of that state’s government in the Summits of the Americas process,” and that democracy should be the form of government of all countries in the Americas.

According to the program released by the Ministry of Defense on Thursday (Jul 28), the last day of the event, participants must approve a joint declaration underscoring the commitments made by countries and the conclusion of the debates held during the conference.

Created in 1995, the conference is regarded as the main forum in the Americas with a focus on defense and security. The chief objective of the regular meetings is to promote exchange and cooperation among the nations in the region. After chairing the American forum during the 2021–2022 biennium, Brazil will be replaced with Argentina, which will be tasked with organizing the next gathering.

Democracy

The defense of democratic regimes was a keynote in the speeches of the other nations represented at the conference. Expressing concern over cyber-security, climate change, and irregular migration, participants argued for strengthening regional defense and cross-border cooperation on security.

“As we deepen our democracies, we deepen [regional] security,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, adding that the world faces a “complex security environment,” including problems arising from climate change and China’s advancing political and economic influence over the region.

“We come together because of our shared interests and values, our respect for human rights, our commitment to the rule of law, and our devotion to democracy,” Austin added.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira –  Agência Brasil

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