The NATO Defense College in Brazil - 9 May: Roundtable Meeting on Brazil and the Euro-Atlantic Area
Cooperation in support of international peace and security begins with states and international organisations like NATO, making a conscious effort to better understand the actors of the new geopolitical and economic environment and who they are, in order to identify opportunities for mutual reinforcement, or at least, de-confliction. Thus, while taking account of respective mandates and capabilities, as well as of mutual perceptions and aspirations, cooperation is central to this process.
(From the right) Amb. Zacarias, Mr Dane, Dr Lazarou, Lt Gen Dalhaug and Maj Gen Branco welcome participants to the Roundtable Meeting.
For its part, the NDC Research Division regularly draws up objective assessments of potential cooperative security options. This is achieved through the organisation of research symposia and the drafting of joint publications with other academic institutions, to stimulate discussion and debate among academics, civil society and officials from the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.
Brazil is a country which represents the Global South; it is an example of an important international security provider, as emphasised by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). Brazil is also the sixth largest economy in the world and an advocate of the UN’s primacy in the maintenance of international peace and security. Brazilian forces head the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the Maritime Task Force of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Such is the background against which, on 9 May 2013, the NATO Defense College (NDC), the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) jointly organised a one-day conference to discuss Brazil-NATO relations and perceptions.
The aim of the event was to generate greater understanding between Brazilian and Euro-Atlantic partners in a closed High-Level Academic Roundtable meeting, by promoting dialogue between some 40 eminent academics and senior officials. Participants discussed the position of Brazil and NATO as global security providers and together explored what opportunities may exist for dialogue and cooperation between Brazil and the Alliance, as well as with the United Nations and others to tackle common security challenges.
The promoters of the conference succeeded in achieving an exhaustive academic event. Participants were warmly welcomed by Lt Gen Dalhaug, Commandant of the NDC, Elena Lazarou, Head of the Centre for International Relations at the FGV, and Felix Dane, Representative of the KAS.
The day was split into five discussion panels, each with a number of eminent academics addressing the audience.
The first panel was entitled “Brazil and NATO: Mutual and Self Perceptions”, while the second concerned “Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect/Responsibility While Protecting”. In the afternoon, a third panel was scheduled to deal with “Approaches to Maritime Security in the Atlantic” and the fourth concentrated on “Peace Support and Humanitarian Assistance Operations: the Brazil and NATO Experience”, while the final panel discussion focused on “Viewpoints on Nuclear and WMD Proliferation”.
Concluding remarks were provided by Brooke Smith-Windsor of the NDC Research Division, Felix Dane of the KAS, Elena Lazarou of the Centre for International Relations at the FGV, and FGV President Carlos Ivan Simonsen Leal.