Addressing the United Nations General Assembly Brazilian President Dilma Roussef claimed that spying in the lives and affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and urged the United Nations to play a leading role in protecting Internet users from illegal interception of communications and data, and decried recent allegations of electronic information spying as “serious violations of human rights”.
“Meddling in such a manner in the lives and affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and as such it is an affront to the principles that should otherwise govern relations among countries, especially among friendly nations” President Roussef said on Tuesday in reference to allegations that information had been illegally gathered on the activities of the Brazilian Government.
Roussef urged “the United Nations must properly regulate the behavior of Member States regarding these technologies.”
She said Brazil would present proposals for the establishment of a framework for the governance and use of the Internet, and to ensure the effective protection of data that travels through the web.
It will be based on five key principles: freedom of speech; open, multi-lateral governance with transparency; principle of universality and non-discrimination; cultural diversity without imposing values; and network neutrality, guided only by technical and ethical criteria.
Although the Brazilian leader did not mention once the word ‘United States’ her accusations were clearly geared against Washington which according to former NSA experts systematically and regularly spied on Brazilian government, officials and corporations.
She also emphasized the whole situation was made even worse from the moment that private companies operators hosting internet collaborated in the electronic surveillance giving access to private information.
The controversy over cyber-spying led to the suspension of an official state visit of Rousseff to Washington next month.
In her statement, President Roussef noted Brazil’s fight “against poverty, hunger and inequality” which constitutes “the greatest challenge of our time.”
“In the debate on the post-2015 Development Agenda we must focus on the result of the Rio+20” Ms. Roussef said referring to the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
Rio+20’s outcome document “The Future We Want” led to the creation of the High-level Political Forum which aims to ensure that sustainable development tops the agenda of the highest levels of Government and is embraced by all actors. The Forum is due to meet for the first time on the sidelines of the General Assembly.
Noting the June protests in parts of Brazil, Roussef said her Government listened to the demonstrators as an “inseparable part of the development of our democracy and of social change.”
Turning to Security Council reform, Roussef said the body’s “limited representation” is an issue of “grave concern” exemplified by its immense difficulty in offering a solution to the Syrian conflict and paralysis in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“We must provide the Council with voices that are at once independent and constructive,” the President said, urging expansion of the number of permanent and non-permanent members “to solve and overcome the Council’s definite of representation and legitimacy.”
On the issue of Syria, Roussef said it is “necessary to stop the killing” and cease the use of conventional and chemical arms, whether by the Government or the rebels.
She underscored that there is no military outcome to the crisis and that “the only solution is through negotiation, dialogue and understanding.” Similarly, it is now time, Roussef said, to realize the wide international consensus in favor to the two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.