President and candidate for re-election, Jair Bolsonaro (PL) will deliver the opening speech on Tuesday (20/09) at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Brazil arrives at the event with a debt to the United Nations of 306 million US dollars, equivalent to 1.5 billion Brazilian reals. The data was collected by the entity at the request of BBC News Brasil. The value does not include any debts between Brazil and other international organizations.
Under UN rules, if a country accumulates debts equal to two years or more in relation to its regular contributions, it may lose its right to vote. Brazil made some debt payments to avoid this scenario.
The loss of voting rights to Brazil has never occurred since the organization was created in 1945. According to the United Nations press office, there is no indication of any change in voting rights in Brazil at the present time.
When contacted, the Brazilian government provided different debt figures and said it had “spare no effort” to pay off Brazil’s debts with the United Nations, but stated that it relies on supplementing the budget, which relies on the executive and legislative branches, to address the debts.
Under UN rules, each member state must pay contributions to the regular operation of the entity. These values are calculated based on criteria such as the size of each country’s GDP.
Brazil is responsible for 2% of the entity’s regular budget. The United States is the country responsible for the highest rate: 22%.
Under UN rules, a country can lose its right to vote if it has accumulated debts equal to two years or more. – Photo: Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images
In addition to regular contributions, countries also need to contribute to United Nations peacekeeping missions. Since the creation of the United Nations, Brazil has been one of the most active countries in peace missions around the world. In 2004, for example, he led the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
According to a United Nations survey, of the $306.7 million that Brazil owes to the entity, $249 million relates to debts owed by Brazil to the organization’s peacekeeping missions accumulated in other years.
Another $56.4 million relates to the amount that Brazil must pay in regular contributions to the UN budget.
The rest, about US$1 million, is tied to Brazil’s debts to international tribunals such as those set up to judge war crimes in the Balkans and on the African continent.
BBC News Brazil asked the United Nations for a full list of debtor countries, but received no response. The entity only informed that of the 193 member states, 125 had already paid their regular contributions by September of this year.
Also, according to the United Nations, the amount of the debt already includes partial payments made by the Brazilian government between May, June and July of this year.
Diplomats interviewed by BBC News Brasil say conservatively that the payments were made for several years as a way to prevent Brazil from losing its right to vote in the UN General Assembly.
They compare these payments to revolving credit payments on a credit card where only a percentage of the debt is paid to avoid default.
Subsequently, Itamaraty and the Ministry of Economy submitted various statements about the value of the Brazilian debt with the United Nations.
Itamaraty, through its press office, said Brazil’s debts with the organization are $296 million, about $10 million less than the amount provided by the United Nations.
The ministry said that the transfers for the payment of debts are the responsibility of the Ministry of Economy.
Brazil is responsible for 2% of the regular budget of the United Nations. – Photo: Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images
When called, the Ministry of Economy gave a lower figure: $232.6 million.
Based on the data sent by the ministry, Brazil’s debt set by the United Nations will be greater than that recorded in September 2021, which amounted to 255.8 million US dollars. However, the amount will be less than the debt recorded in previous years.
In 2020, Brazil’s debt, according to the ministry, is $352.1 million. In 2019, it was $411.6 million. In 2018, the debt was $352.1 million.
Experts point out that the debt dates back to the Dilma period
Experts interviewed by BBC News Brasil say Brazil’s debt with the United Nations began to deteriorate during the second term of former President Dilma Rousseff (PT), but say the debt management is a reversal of international policy led by President Bolsonaro.
“If we look at the data, we can see that at the end of the Dilma government, ‘things have gone off track.’ There is a pause in payments and that has been increasing,” said the federation’s professor of international relations. University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) Dyson Belem Lopez.
For a physician in international relations and professor at the Defense Ministry’s Higher School of War (ESG) Mariana Khalil, although it is not the first time that Brazil has been indebted to the United Nations, the country’s current debt with the entity needs to be borne in mind in the country’s political context.
“The difference is the context. There is, undoubtedly, the issue of the epidemic, which has affected many countries financially, but there is also the ‘anti-globalization’ rhetoric from Brazil, along with the issue of delays in financial affairs. The contribution, puts the country’s commitment to the post multilateral system World War II is under watch,” said Prof.
“Anti-globalization” is an ideological current characterized by a questioning of the multilateral system in which countries operate in a coordinated manner through bodies such as the United Nations itself. In Brazil, the former foreign minister in Bolsonaro’s government, Ernesto Araujo, was one of the main advocates of this ideology.
According to the Transparency Portal, the government has allocated $211 million to pay contributions to the United Nations. So far, only $33 million of that total has been spent.
In a note, the Economy Ministry said the reason for Brazil’s debt to the United Nations was “insufficient budget allocation”.
Asked about the debt settlement outlook, the ministry said there should be an “additional clause to the annual debt settlement budget law.”
Itamaraty, in turn, attributed the debt to “financial constraints” in the federal budget.
“The debt includes amounts in different currencies, the payment of which, like other budgetary measures, is subject to the financial restrictions imposed on the federal budget, within the amounts provided for in the annual budget law,” the ministry said in a note sent to the BBC. Brazil News.
Also, according to Itamarati, the government was trying to “equality” the religion with the United Nations.
“The Brazilian government has spared no effort to resolve the debt issue with the United Nations, in line with the country’s historic commitment to the multilateral system and the UN Charter,” the agency said.
Bolsonaro is expected to deliver the first address of the heads of state to the general debate of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday morning (20/9). The speech is scheduled to begin at approximately 9 a.m. He is expected to return to Brazil in the late afternoon.
– This text was published at https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-62966074
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