The Minister of Defense, Nelson Jobim, confirmed, last Wednesday, that Brazil will have at least a military representative in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil).
According to him, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva authorized the negotiation between the ministry of Defense and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the UNO, when the terms of the Brazilian participation in the mission will be defined.
Nelson Jobim explained that, initially, the Brazilian involvement won´t happen in the molds of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah), where Brazil keeps 1,137 soldiers.
The Brazilian representative in the Unifil will act like the rest in the other ten peace missions that Brazil integrates, only with the presence of observers.
“It isn´t about sending forces. We will participate of the mission, but we will begin with the participation of someone connected with the Navy”, he said.
The participation of an observer in the Unifil doesn´t demand approval of the National Congress.
The Minister discarded the sending of ships to Lebanon.
“The ships that we have aren´t sufficient even to fulfill our necessities”, he explained.
The Unifil was created in 1978 with the objective of allowing the UN to accompany the retreat of the Israeli troops of Lebanon.
The soldiers of the mission also participate in the restoration of the peace and of the security in the region and help the Lebanese government.
After the crisis of July of 2006, when the Lebanese army and the Islamic Sunni militia Fatah al-Islam confronted, leaving a balance of dozens of deaths, the UN Security Council also delegated to the mission the task of supervising the measures for the end of the hostilities.
In note, the ministry of Defense pointed out that the increase of the Brazilian participation in peace missions is prescribed in the National Politics of Defense, which preceded the National Strategy of Defense.
The ministry of Defense points out that the missions abroad contribute with the capacity and the improvement of the soldiers, besides projecting Brazil’s image in the international community.
This “positive image”, in turn, contributes with the Brazilian campaign for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.