Classified By: Political Counselor Dennis Hearne, reason 1.4 (b & d)
1. (C) Poloff discussed ref B non-paper with Ministry of External Relations' (MRE) Disarmament and Sensitive Technologies Division Chief, Santiago Mourao, who is preparing the GOB position for the 2005 NPT Revcon. Mourao strongly defended the NPT. He agreed that the Treaty required "strengthening" and noted that it contained "asymmetries," but did not view the NPT as fundamentally inefficient or weak. On the contrary, Mourao noted that when the NPT was ratified, many believed there would be 20-30 nuclear weapons countries by now. Instead, there continue to be the five weapons states plus "three on the margins," thanks to the NPT. He added that the NPT had also helped to unveil a clandestine illicit nuclear proliferation network (Khan).
2. (C) Regarding the Additional Protocol, Mourao said that while the AP strengthens the safeguards system, it would not help the NPT. (Note: The GOB will not consider its own possible accession to the AP until after the Revcon. End note.) Brazil will not seek amendments to the Treaty in May but would favor a "balanced" document that was "non-confrontational" and did not provide "selective advantages" to signatories. Echoing long-standing GOB policy, Mourao said the GOB supported strengthening the NPT's disarmament aspects in harmony with the non-proliferation ones. Brazil will continue its position of not questioning the right of any country under Article IV to develop its peaceful nuclear program.
3. (C) Comment. We welcome ref A's proposals for reaching out to GOB officials for bilateral discussions in the months before the NPT Revcon. Meeting regularly with the Brazilians in New York, Vienna, and Geneva prior to the Revcon can clear the air on any problematic issues before the conference, and also demonstrate that GOB views are important to us. If invited, USG officials should be prepared for bilateral consultations in Brasilia. To be most fruitful, bilateral engagement with Brazilian interlocutors on NPT objectives should also include meaningful discussion of disarmament efforts under Article VI. The Brazilians unfailingly flag this as a key concern both for the GOB executive branch and Brazil's congress, which ratified the NPT with significant hesitation because of perceptions of lack of progress in disarmament among weapons states, and which will eventually have to ratify the Additional Protocol if Brazil signs on.
4. (C) Comment continued. Per para 15 of ref a, we believe a public diplomacy effort here on the NPT would be most effective if it focuses on high-road themes which are broadly supported by the USG, GOB and most other NPT states: e.g., the centrality of the NPT to the international community's efforts to deal with an increasingly dangerous proliferation environment, with perhaps the Khan network and North Korea noted as examples of new threats. The issue of Brazil's adherence to the Additional Protocol should be handled deftly in PD efforts. Brazilian media opinion has tended to favor Brazilian adherence to the protocol, and GOB statements have recently pointed toward adherence at some point (though not before the Revcon). But it remains important that the issue be seen in an international context (Brazil-IAEA), and not as a bilateral problem. The approach taken in recent months by the USG -- including former Secretary Powell during his October 2004 visit here -- has been a productive one: i.e., the USG has no concerns about Brazil in terms of weapons programs, applauds Brazil's excellent record in non-proliferation, and hopes Brazil, working with the IAEA, will sign the AP, as other recognized nuclear supplier states have done or plan to do. A PD effort here could also usefully elaborate on the advances in disarmament by the U.S. and Russia in recent years, including statistics that illustrate the dramatic scale of both bilateral and U.S. unilateral programs.