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The Federative Republic of Brazil strongly supports the 6C

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					General Assembly Sixth Committee (6C) Delegation of the Federative Republic of Brazil
The Federative Republic of Brazil strongly supports the 6C decision to face the problem of Humanitarian Intervention and State Sovereignty and the Legal Status of Environmental Refugees. The first issue has evident legal needs in reason of the latest story. The second one is related, also, to our way to conduct energy politics. As one of the founder of the United Nations (UN), Brazil is very glad to participate in this upcoming session, and hopes that the spirit of the Charter of the UN will inspire us during our work. The issues before the 6C are “Humanitarian Intervention and State Sovereignty” and “The Legal Status of Environmental Refugees”.

Humanitarian Intervention and State Sovereignty
Only legitimate and effective instruments can assure collective security. Therefore the Federative Republic of Brazil believes that Humanitarian Intervention is possible and legitimate only under International law. For more than sixty years, the United Nations (UN) is the place where international relations evolve. Just from the beginning of its mandate, the UN has faced wars, conflicts and situations in which violations of International laws were perpetrated. Sometimes the organization has succeeded in its purposes with good results but sometimes has found the path more difficult than envisioned. Humanitarian intervention is one of these paths and all the last twenty five years have demonstrated and exposed the complexity of this issue. The first UN Charter identifies the purpose of the organization: Maintenance of international peace and security” and the development of friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and selfdetermination of peoples. The second article recognizes sovereign states as the base of the UN system. The concepts of State sovereignty and humanitarian intervention have always seemed to be two diametrically different notions. Brazil made decisive contribution to the Issue Paper wrote within the framework of the Rio group on 11 and 25 October 2000 in New York. The document pointed out some guide lines on the topic of the Humanitarian Intervention. The first of all was the necessity to discuss and debate in detail the concept of the Humanitarian Intervention. Brazil has followed with appreciation the work of the International Commission on Intervention and State sovereignty (ICISS) and the report “The Responsibility to Protect (R2P)” written in 2001. In particular, Brazil welcomes with interest specification on R2P and the notion of external responsibility embedded in the concept of sovereignty. Brazil valued positively the explanations of the scopes, the precautionary principles, circumstances and the threshold criteria linked to an Humanitarian Intervention. As one of the signatory of the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution (A/RES/377(V)), Brazil has always been convinced of the possibility of the General Assembly (GA) to intervene when necessary in those situations described by the ICISS. Notwithstanding that all kind of interventions have to be strictly inspired by the UN charter. The Brazil delegation therefore calls upon the 6C to encourage the draft of a legal text, in the spirit of the UN charter, including aspects from the R2P. Such initiative can assure a legal and thereby legitimate contribution to the Humanitarian Intervention issue and will encourage multilateral approaches to the most sacrosanct anchor enshrined in the Charter of the UN: Peace! Facing the erosion of peace is not just a duty, as suggested by the Charter but is also a moral choice: Tragedies as the genocide in Rwanda, Srebrenica and Darfur as well as the United States led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervention in Kosovo must become terrible exceptions in the history if the UN. Brazil has showed in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) how we can dedicate our military to the promotion of peace in the hemisphere. Brazil assures its readiness to embrace the role of a mediator in the route that will lead to the elaboration of a document towards ameliorated relations and will guarantee the development of international law.

The Legal Status of Environmental Refugees
Following in the wake of climate change are massive migration and displacement of people. International law exhibits a distinct inadequacy in such field in particular relating to the status of this kind of migrant. The problem originates from the difficulty to separate normal migration and migrates to refugees namely persons who are outside their country because of persecution of well-founded fear of persecution for different reasons; so, that definition does not include “green” refugees and so the legal existence to this group has never been conferred. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in a document called “Environmentally-Induced Population Displacements and Environmental Impacts Resulting from Mass Migrations” underlines that migration is often caused by more than one reasons, such as economic, political, ethnic, religious, and personal ones. Nevertheless, in the same document, UNHCR emphasizes how environment and its changes can influence the displacement of people. The Brazilian Refugee Act, adopted in 1997, is considered as the first comprehensive refugee law in South America and was written with the participation of UNHCR. Article 4 of the Brazilian Constitution affirm the prevalence of human rights and the granting of political asylum, two major values that lead Brazilian international relations. Brazilian society, itself, it’s composed by a big number of ethnic groups created

General Assembly Sixth Committee (6C) Delegation of the Federative Republic of Brazil
from refugees, especially Colombian and Angolans. Brazil has noticed with alarm that very often, environmental disasters are the results of economic and political decisions of powerful nations. Poor countries, particularly of the South are too much influenced by biggest countries’ policies and choices. In this way, the Brazilian choice to favour south-south cooperation and development follow the idea of a new style of relations. Brazil is convinced that, environmental refugees are generated by a wrong conduct of energetic politics. The recent flood in Brazil caused more than one hundred victims and the escape of five hundred thousand peoples from the Bhola Island in Indonesia, after it was halfway flooded, show vividly how environmental changes have begun to fuel displacement. To be added is poverty that very usually is one of the main cause of migration and consequence of useless development political actions. Preventing instead of facing a problem is always a better solution. From a legal point of view, the issue is more complicated. According to the words of the International Organization of Migration(IOM), in the position paper written after a 2008 Research Workshop on Migration and the Environment:” the number of empirical studies of contemporary manifestations of the influence of climate on migration is surprisingly small and focus primarily on use of past climate variability”. The theoretical arguments on this topic are truly insufficient to reasonably analyze the problem. To recall the wording of the 1999 thesis on Environmental Degradation and Population Displacement, the estimates and projections of environmental refugees are based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence and intuitive judgment. This illustrates the evident lack of concrete studies. In conformity with this deficiency of theory in the topic and confident of UN work, Brazil requests the 6C to elaborate upon a project to address the UNHCR and the IOM in a common work with the intention to encourage the drafting of a formal document. This project will have to include threshold, law advices and legal opinions on the issue. This will help a numerical and objective valuation of the problem and so a guideline for future deliberations on the legal status of refugee. Important ideas could be implemented from the documents that the two organizations have already written, in particular Working Paper No. 34 “Environmental refugees: myth or reality?” and the aforementioned paper of the IOM. The committee should concentrate its work on these researches, their motivations and then elaborate, if necessary, a different or a new definition of refugees.


				
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posted:11/28/2009
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