Bravo, President Lula, for your lesson in diplomacy

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Brazil of "making the world more dangerous" due to Lula’s mediation with Iran, despite the fact that this joint action with Turkey had been consulted previously with the U.S. administration.

Nevertheless, we can easily imagine the extreme international and domestic pressures brought upon Washington to abort the alternative diplomacy in which these “emerging countries” have been so skillfully engaged.

This is a bad sign. But, good sign, shortly thereafter the United Nations signed an agreement to hold a summit in 2012 to convert the Middle East into a region free of weapons of mass destruction and to accelerate the disarmament process of all countries that possess atomic warheads. The agreement was subscribed by the 189 signatory countries of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (TNP). However, Israel, which has neither signed the TNP nor admitted or denied that it maintains nuclear arsenals, should not be “pressured” until the region is at peace!

What Lula has demonstrated is that if multilateralism doesn’t work through the direct manipulative influence of the most powerful countries, it is possible to achieve via negotiations what has never been achieved by force and antimissile shields. It’s clear that the captains of the great war machine, who were already watering at the mouth at the thought of war with Iran must feel terribly disappointed. Lula swiftly responded to the U.S.’s accusation by saying that nuclear energy should be an instrument for development, rather than a threat. “My experience as a union leader taught me that inflexible positions only feed confrontation and move us further away from possible peaceful solutions", he added.

In contrast, Minister Moratinos applauded “Turkey and Brazil’s tremendous effort". It is now essential through a strengthened United Nations to ensure that President Ahmadinejad keeps his word. And, in turn, that Israel realize that its “exceptional” status, based on the United States’ unyielding support, has concluded and that it must submit to the directives of the same organization that recognized Israel’s right to statehood in 1947.

What neither the G-7, G-8 nor G-20 achieved was made possible through these alternative channels of negotiation. Bravo, President Lula. Bravo, Prime Minister Erdogan. We must reform the United Nations, commencing with the Security Council, which today is being used for the benefit of the world’s great powers.

Times have changed. The great instruments of world politics must also change. “Let us rapidly put diplomacy and dialogue where there were previously only threats”. Neither Brazil nor Turkey has nuclear weapons... The paradox is that those who have them refuse to let others have them instead of seeking nuclear disarmament, the great aspiration of all human beings who think responsibly in the future generations. President Obama seems to be determined to do so. Let’s help him.