Defense ministers from 21 American countries signed this Thursday (28) a letter that classifies the Russian invasion of Ukraine as illegitimate and provides for respect for democracy. The declaration is the result of the 15th Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas, held in Brasília.
The excerpt about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (read below) was the one that generated the greatest dispute in the elaboration of the final document. In all, 11 of the 21 countries gathered at the conference had reservations about one passage – some wanted a milder quote, and some wanted a more emphatic condemnation of the conflict.
The document (click here to see the full text) says that the signatory countries undertake to fully respect the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as the Inter-American Democratic Charter and “its values, principles and mechanisms”.
The Inter-American Democratic Charter says in its opening article: “The peoples of America have the right to democracy and their governments have the obligation to promote and defend it.”
In general lines, the letter determines that democracy must be the form of government of all countries in the Americaswho must commit to strengthening the system in the region.
The conference of defense ministers of the Americas ends today in Brasilia
At the opening of the conference, Defense Minister Paulo Sérgio Nogueira had already expressed respect for the letters with democratic principles. In recent weeks, however, Nogueira has been embracing President Jair Bolsonaro’s unfounded suspicions about Brazilian electronic voting machines.
In a hearing at the Chamber’s Foreign Relations committee on July 6, the Defense Minister stated that the electronic voting system “always needs improvement”, but denied that the Armed Forces called into question the electoral process.
In a hearing in the Senate, on July 14, Nogueira said that the military are not “reviewers” of the elections. However, at the time, he endorsed the presentation of a technician from the portfolio who raised suspicions that had already been denied about the security of the ballot boxes.
President Jair Bolsonaro, a pre-candidate for reelection, has been raising suspicions without evidence about the electronic voting machine, stating that they are not auditable – although they are – and defending the application of printed votes, considered a setback by the Electoral Justice.
Regarding the war in Ukraine, the document says that the “conflicts present throughout the world, such as the invasion of Ukraine, and the acts of violence carried out by armed groups that terrorize the population in Haiti, are not legitimate means to resolve the disputes”.
The document also says that the member states of the conference expect a peaceful solution “as soon as possible”.
Although they signed the document, representatives from Brazil, Mexico and Argentina presented a note with reservations regarding the European conflict. The three countries pointed to the United Nations (UN) as the appropriate forum to address the issue.
“Argentina and Brazil, consistent with the principles that govern their international relations, recognize the role of the United Nations in the search for international peace and security and consider that organization the forum with an adequate mandate to deal with the conflict in Ukraine,” he says. a footnote included in the final document.
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In a separate note, Mexico stated that the provision condemning war in Europe does not correspond to the scope of the Conference of Defense Ministers, “recognizing the UN as an adequate forum to deal with this matter”.
The final version turned out to be milder than expected in countries like the United States and Canada.
Canada’s Minister of National Defense Anita Anand, Minister of National Defense, said during the opening of the conference on Tuesday (26) that officials gathered at the conference had a duty to show that they support democracy and condemn “illegal warfare”. ” promoted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.