Sep 9, 2016

Brazil on Nuclear Proliferation

In a 2014 Speech, Brazilian President
Proposes the End of All Nuclear Weapons

Michel Temer

Brazil on Nuclear Proliferation
 Michel Temer (photo), an experienced legal scholar



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A September 2016 Editorial Note:

 The following text transcribes a speech made by  
Brazilian President Michel Temer during the Third
Nuclear Security Summit, in the Netherlands, March 2014.[1]
At the time Mr. Temer was the vice-president of his country.  

According to Temer, “the most effective way to
reduce the risk that non-state actors make use of nuclear
explosives or their materials is the total elimination of all
nuclear arsenals. This measure must be an essential
component of any effective nuclear security strategy.”

The view is shared by a number of governments and
millions of citizens around the world. Michel Temer is a legal
scholar and a long-standing politician and statesman. As a
Constitutionalist, he has several books published on Law and
Legal Consciousness. Brazil is the fifth-largest country of
the world by both area and population and has 205 million
inhabitants. Decades ago, it voluntarily renounced the idea of
developing nuclear weapons. Mexico, Argentina and Brazil play
a central role in keeping Latin America free from such a nightmare.    

(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)

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“A world that accepts nuclear
weapons will always be insecure. It is
essential to eliminate such weapons…”

(Michel Temer)




Prime Minister Mark Rutte,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great satisfaction to be here in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to address this Nuclear Security Summit on behalf of the Brazilian Government and the Brazilian people.

Nuclear security is essential to the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. Brazil has robust, effective and adequate legislation in the areas of nuclear security and terrorism prevention. All of the rules regarding the physical protection of sensitive items, materials and equipment contained in the various agreements and regimes in which we are party have been incorporated into the national legal system. Brazil has participated in the Nuclear Security Summit process in the understanding that it brings greater international attention to the various dimensions of this problem and can contribute to its discussion within the International Atomic Energy Agency, the multilateral institution of universal scope with competence and experience on this subject.

The international community must be permanently committed to minimizing and eliminating risks and threats arising from any possible destructive use of nuclear energy, no matter if it is by a state or non-state actor.

Brazil fully and actively shares the concern with the fight against terrorism. This is, in fact, one of the ten constitutional principles governing our international relations. This concern is also embedded into our broader vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.

We must not forget that it is not civilian nuclear facilities, but atomic bombs that pose the greatest risk to humanity. Today, as we know, all stockpiles of nuclear material for military use are exempt of multilateral control mechanisms. The most effective way to reduce the risk that non-state actors make use of nuclear explosives or their materials is the total elimination of all nuclear arsenals. This measure must be an essential component of any effective nuclear security strategy.

The Brazilian Federal Constitution states that all nuclear activity within national territory shall only be admitted for peaceful purposes. Brazil is a Party to the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which established the world's first nuclear-weapon-free zone among States. We are also bound by the commitments of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. We defend, most of all, the launching of multilateral negotiations on a convention banning nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination – in a transparent, verifiable and irreversible manner - with realistic goals and timelines.

These are, Mr. Prime Minister, Heads of Delegation, the concerns that have led Brazil to submit, along with fourteen other countries with a similar view, the statement titled “In larger security: a comprehensive approach to nuclear security.” [2]

We understand that it is impossible to dissociate the quest for nuclear security from the effective implementation of disarmament commitments established in the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. A world that accepts nuclear weapons will always be insecure. It is essential to eliminate such weapons, which, because of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of their use, remain a permanent threat to humanity. May the efforts of this Summit contribute to renew our firm political commitment to such a high and urgent purpose.

(Michel Temer)

NOTES:

[1] Transcribed from the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil:

[2] See the statement at the website of the Nuclear Security Summit: http://www.nss2016.org/document-center-docs/2016/4/1/gift-basket-from-brazil. The link was last checked on September 9th, 2016.

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