Interview- Ambassador Maria Reis, Under Secretary General for Central and South Asia, Ministry of External Affairs, Brazil


Pakistan and Brazil share deep rooted diplomatic and political ties. Both countries share common objective of peace and development not only in the region but in the world as well. Brazil and Pakistan always extended hands of cooperation to each other through sharing the knowledge and technologies in various fields of mutual benefit. Various high level visits from both sides reflects the significance both states give to each other. Recently Ambassador Maria Reis, Under-Secretary General for Central and South Asia, was on an official visit to Pakistan to hold Second Annual Bilateral Consultations with Pakistan.
During her visit, The Diplomatic Insight arranged an exclusive sitting with Ambassador Maria Reis and we are producing the excerpts of the interview.

It is a great pleasure Ambassador Reis that you have taken your time out in your busy schedule and hope that your stay is fruitful. Let me begin by asking what the purpose of the visit is and how far you want to get the benefit out of this opportunity of interacting with Pakistani high levels?

Ambassador Reis: Thank you so much. It is a privilege to be here. This is my first visit to Pakistan and I am hoping to share and interact with Pakistani officials in order to enhance Pakistan-Brazil cooperation in various fields. I have been received by Foreign Affairs Minister at foreign office and we discussed various issues of bilateral relations including trade, economy and especially our Mechanism of Political Dialogue that we have started almost four years ago. All these consultative meetings are in line for the visit of Pakistani Foreign Minister’s visit to Brazil which is expected to be in June. We have also discussed in-depth about possibilities of signing various agreements during Foreign Minister’s visit in June.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, will take place between 20-22 June 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and we have received various confirmation of 60 heads of states like recently we been confirmed by President of China, Hu Jintao. Brazil expects participation at the highest level, especially from developing countries, given the importance of the main focus of the Conference addressing sustainable development in its economic, social and economic dimensions and aiming at the promotion of green economy in a context of poverty eradication. My Pakistani counterparts informed about the participation of Prime Minister or President of Pakistan in this great forum. Brazil also hosted the First International conference on the Environment, held in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992. Now, after passing of 20 years, the Rio+20 Conference is going to evaluate the progress made in environmental protection and set the way for the future. It will be an important occasion for the international community to reflect on the model of development that is more appropriate to assure the well being of future generations and for the developing countries to forge a new paradigm of development and poverty eradication. The participants will come together to shape how together we can reduce poverty, advance social equality and ensure environmental protections on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want. The conference would also review the 20 years progress since the first such summit. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Kar and Foreign Minister of Brazil, H. E. Antonio Patriota share excellent relations and both of them met at various forums including recently at the sidelines of UN Summit and recently at Davos. Both have share views in order to enhance cooperation and collaboration at much further and higher level.

During Ms. Rabbani’s visit to Brazil, we are expecting to initiate joint economic commission along with working on sectors like health, defence, agriculture and more significantly social development.
Brazil has a rich experience in technologies in the field of agriculture and we want to share this with agri-based economy of Pakistan. Our delegation of experts regularly travels to Pakistan to contribute towards enhancement of Pakistan’s sugar cane production. Our medical research has also developed some significant methods of prevention of diseases like dengue, which Pakistan has been suffering for the last many years. We have also offered cooperation in this regard as well. Brazil has applied social policies and programs that helped us to reduce poverty and improve lively hood. As we are successful in this regard so we would like to share best practices with Pakistan as well.


Q; Thank you , could you elaborate the role of BRICS in the emerging multi-polar world ?

Ambassador Reis: BRICS is actually a coordinating forum. It is not an organization or a formal institution. It has two major pillars. One is that to coordinate amongst the members of the forum to defend common positions, to join efforts on behalf of the interests of emerging economies and developing countries in economic, social and political fields. The BRICS are, therefore, promoting a greater participation of developing countries in the structures of global governance, in order to make them more representative and more legitimate. For instance in G20 or in IMF and elsewhere we have demanded that there should be redistribution of quote for voting. BRICS together will be responsible for 56 per cent of world’s economic growth in 2012, while G6 the G-7 will contribute with only 9%. Second important pillar is that of construction of a BRICS own agenda where we are looking for augmented relations in the field of business, stimulate trade, health, food security and energy security. One of the important aspect is that we are looking to have our very own academic forum of experts and scholars who can give us indigenous opinion and analysis.


Q: Pakistan is facing energy shortage and is facing huge challenges in this regard, how Brazil and Pakistan collaborate in this important sector?

Ambassador Reis: Brazil is a pioneer in the production and use of bio-fuels, a program that started in the seventies to reduce our dependency of oil exports. Brazil has one of the cleanest energy matrix in the world, with about 40% of renewable energies. It is also one of the world’s largest hydro power generating country as well as major producer of bio-diesel. We are willing to share our experience and expertise over this with Pakistan. We now need to exchange missions to best evaluate of the needs and possibilities. We invite delegations and business missions from Pakistan to visit Brazil for this purpose.


Q: How Brazil see the situation in Afghanistan and role of Pakistan in this regard?

Ambassador Reis: Brazil has always welcome Pakistan’s stance of supporting an Afghan led and Afghan owned reconciliation process in Afghanistan. Brazil has also been providing assistance to Afghanistan in agriculture field and also supporting in mining industry. For us the developments on the ground are the real cause of concern and we also looking for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan in future.

Exclusively by The Diplomatic Insight


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