Ministry of External Relations (Brazil)

Coat of arms of Brazil.svg
Ministry of External Relations
The Itamaraty Palace in Brasília
Current minister Antonio Patriota
since: January 1, 2011
Established 28 July 1736 [1]
Annual budget R$2.1 billion (2010) [2]

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The Ministry of External Relations (Abbreviation: MRE; Portuguese: Ministério das Relações Exteriores) conducts Brazil's foreign relations with other countries. It is commonly referred to in Brazilian media and diplomatic jargon as the Itamaraty, after the palace which hosts the ministry (originally in Rio de Janeiro, and currently in a second-named one in Brasília).[3] The ministry is currently headed by Chancellor Antonio Patriota.[4]

The Ministry of External Relations operates the Rio Branco Institute and the Alexandre de Gusmão Foundation.[5] [6]



The Ministry of External Relations has three relevant moments that defined it as the institution that would be later established. The first one was the signature of the 1750 Spanish-Portuguese treaty, which re-established the borders set in the Treaty of Tordesillas. This moment was not a foreign issue policy of Brazil per se, instead being a pursuit of interests by the Portuguese in their largest colony. There was, however, a notable Brazilian in the diplomatic corp, Alexandre de Gusmão, who directed the Portuguese foreign policy of trying to separate the Americas from the subject of European sucessions. The height of Gusmão's diplomatic effort was the signing of the Treaty of Madrid of 1750, in which the territorial issues in South America were resolved.

The second relevant historic moment was the transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil in 1808 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, when the capital of the Portuguese Empire and all its bureaucracy was transferred to Rio de Janeiro. The transfer of the Portuguese Court heavily influenced the Brazilian institutions that would later form.

Finally, there was the participation of the Ministry of External Relations in the process of recognition of Brazilian independence. This moment's relevance surpassed the creation of Brazilian diplomatic institutions and tested for the first time the negotiation skills of Emperor Peter I's diplomatic corp, who were able to have recognition from all world powers.

From that moment on and since its inception in 1822, the Itamaraty defined some of its basic principles of action such as the pacific resolution of principles and non-intervention. With the conclusion of World War II and the creation of the United Nations in 1945 the Ministry consolidated Brazilian presence in international forums.

Notable diplomats in the history of the Itamaraty include the Viscount of Uruguay, the Baron of Rio Branco and Osvaldo Aranha.[7][8]

Foreign policy

The primary objective of the Brazilian foreign ministry is to increase the process of regional integration with Mercosul and other regional and financial bodies. It has also been heavily involved in the discussion of important topics on the international agenda including issues such as the protection of human rights, environmental preservation and the maintenance of peace. At the same time, it has strengthened its links with the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries and has structured itself in order to meet the needs and ambitions of day to day foreign policy concerns. [9]

Brazil currently maintains diplomatic relations with every U.N. member country in the world.[10]

Diplomatic missions

Permanent diplomatic missions are meant to carry out representation, negotiation and information activities, as well as the protection of Brazilian interests with governments of other States and international organizations. Brazil has an extensive diplomatic network, consisting of over 250 overseas missions:

  • 125 Embassies
  • 43 Consulates
  • 19 Vice-Consulates
  • 100+ Honorary Consulates
  • 8 Delegations

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Brazilian Government Web Portal
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Itamaraty". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Antonio Patriota assume". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Fundação Alexandre de Gusmão". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Instituto Rio Branco". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  7. ^ CARVALHO, Carlos Delgado de. História Diplomática do Brasil. Brasília, Senado Federal, 1998;
  8. ^ CASTRO, Flávio Mendes de Oliveira. História da Organização do Ministério das Relações Exteriores. Brasília, Editora Universidade de Brasília, 1983. Site do Ministério das Relações Exteriores:
  9. ^ "Neighbors will receive special attention". Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Brazilian diplomatic relations". 

External links

Coordinates: 15°48′04″S 47°52′01″W / 15.801°S 47.867°W / -15.801; -47.867

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