USIS Washington 

18 September 1998


(State Department ceremony marks milestone event)  (1590)

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright lauded Brazil's
decision to accede to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) during
a ceremony September 18 at the State Department.

By joining the NPT Brazil is taking "its rightful place in the circle
of the world's leading nations," said Albright, who also hailed the
country's recent ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

She noted that 15 years ago, Brazil had been striving to develop a
nuclear weapons program. But civilian leaders later rejected this
course of action, and entered into a comprehensive safeguards
agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"In the wake of South Asia's nuclear follies," the Secretary said,
"Brazil has given the lie to the dangerous nonsense that the global
nonproliferation regime is dead. And as a nuclear 'could have been,'
it has special standing to speak out and act against nuclear

Brazilian Foreign Minister Luis Felipe Lampreia expressed his
country's "unwavering commitment to the use of nuclear energy for
exclusively peaceful purposes" and its determination to play "a
positive role" in the world.

Following is the State Department transcript:

(begin transcript)


Office of the Spokesman

Washington, D.C.

For Immediate Release							September 18, 1998





FOREIGN MINISTER LAMPREIA: Madame Secretary, this ceremony marks a
point of reflection in Brazil's disarmament and non-proliferation
policy by acceding to the NPT and having recently ratified the CTBT,
Brazil now has become party to all international nuclear
non-proliferation agreements.

This process is the result of our unwavering commitment to the use of
nuclear energy for exclusively peaceful purposes as enshrined in our
very constitution. It is not only an important foreign policy
directive of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso's government, but the
reflection of the will of the Brazilian people.

We believe Brazil has a positive role to play in the world -- a role
that must be commensurate with our global interests. We want Brazil to
be a force in favor of change, but we want our influence to stem from
economic competitiveness, from social cohesion, democratic
institutions and an international presence geared to cooperation and
development. True progress can be found only in lasting peace and

Brazil is proud to live in harmony with all its ten neighbors, and to
have done so uninterruptedly for well over a century. South America
today is at once the least-armed region in the world and (inaudible)
we have accelerated economic integration. We are setting an example of
cooperation and solidarity. Brazil therefore strongly rejects the
notion that nuclear weapons can bring security to any nation. On the
contrary, they breed only tension and instability and constitute a
major roadblock to international peace and security.

Our decision to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty flows precisely
from our determination to pursue another greater role in the area of
international peace and security. Brazil has always been a force in
favor of disarmament and non-proliferation. As a member of the NPT, we
will work actively and critically to insure that peaceful nuclear
activities in non- nuclear weapons states and international
cooperation (inaudible) are not restricted, and to help eliminate the
threat of nuclear weapons.

Alongside Argentina, Brazil has come forward to offer our bilateral
experience in the nuclear field as an example of how it is possible to
successfully cooperate on nuclear non-proliferation in a climate of
transparency and trust, and in so doing, to strengthen the
international non-proliferation regime. We hope that others will seize
on that example.

But limiting the spread of nuclear weapons is not enough. The NPT will
not have fulfilled its goal, as set out in Article 6, until all
existing nuclear weapons are gone. That is certainly the understanding
of the Brazilian Government and Congress when they approve the
accession to the treaty.

Nuclear weapons states share a great responsibility in this, though we
recognize the advances that have been made in the reduction of nuclear
stockpiles by the United States and Russia and also on a (inaudible)
basis by other nuclear weapons states, this still falls far short of
what is needed to achieve the goal of nuclear disarmament. That is the
main message of the declaration towards a nuclear weapon-free world --
the need for a new agenda -- issued last June by Brazil and seven
other countries equally committed to this goal.

As we join the NPT today, and I must say, if I may be permitted, on a
personal note, Madame Secretary, I was junior secretary in the
Brazilian delegation during the negotiations of the NPT in '68; and
I'm certainly very glad to be here today to hand you this instrument.

I was saying, we reaffirm our belief that non-proliferation and
disarmament are indivisible and that international cooperation in the
peaceful uses of nuclear energy is one of the basis for a stronger
international non-proliferation regime. This will be the guidelines
for our actions within the NPT framework. I hope that Brazil and the
United States can work together towards a more peaceful, safer and
nuclear weapon-free world.

Thank you very much.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you. Foreign Minister Lampreia,
excellencies, colleagues and friends, we meet today for two purposes.
First and most important, we are here to mark a milestone in the
world's efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.

For Brazil, joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty cements its rightful
place in the circle of the world's leading nations. For the NPT
itself, this is a major stride toward our goal of universality. Less
than a handful of nations remain outside the treaty. And for the long
quest to end nuclear testing, Brazil's ratification of the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in tandem with the NPT is a powerful and
timely rebuttal to the opponents of arms control.

Fifteen years ago, few would have dared dream of this day. Brazil's
military leaders, like Argentina's, were embarked on an unsafeguarded
program to enrich uranium and someday test a nuclear weapon. They
rejected the NPT and refused all on-site inspections. Since then,
Brazil's civilian leaders have had the wisdom to define their
country's greatness not by seeking to develop a nuclear arsenal, but
by striving to develop the potential of the Brazilian people.

These leaders publicly revealed and shut down a hidden test site. They
took remarkable confidence-building steps with Argentina and they
established a path-breaking bilateral agency to monitor one another's
nuclear sites and materials. And they entered into a comprehensive
safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

By its example, Brazil has shown that structures of transparency that
build peace can halt escalation of suspicions and transform rivals
into neighbors. This is an apt lesson for all nations especially those
in the world's tensest regions.

In the wake of South Asia's nuclear follies, Brazil has given the lie
to the dangerous nonsense that the global nonproliferation regime is
dead. And as a nuclear "could have been," it has special standing to
speak out and act against nuclear proliferation. This standing has
already been put to good use. By publicly renouncing its nuclear
cooperation agreement with India, Brazil has clearly rejected the
tortured claim that the way to rid the world of nuclear weapons is to
saddle the world with new nuclear weapons states.

It's fitting that this NPT instrument is being delivered by Foreign
Minister Luiz Felipe Lampreia. Without his personal attention to
seeing Brazil join the Treaty, I doubt this would have happened so
soon. And so I congratulate you, Mr. Minister, and I welcome the
opportunity to discuss with you not only the NPT accession, but also
the broad range of our bilateral relations and our very, very warm

Leading our discussion today will be financial turmoil and emerging
markets, and I will make clear U.S. support for the steps Brazil has
taken and must continue to take to respond to the turmoil. Brazil's
economy is the largest in the region and its financial stability
matters profoundly to both the region and the United States. Today we
export almost as much to this hemisphere as to Europe and Asia, and
direct US investment in Brazil last year grew to almost $36 billion
more than half our total for all of South America.

We would hope that over time, international investors will
differentiate between those emerging markets where fundamental
macro-economic reforms have been lacking, and those, such as Brazil,
with a strong record of economic reform.

Earlier this week, at the Council on Foreign Relations, President
Clinton pledged support for the possible use of IMF emergency funds to
help stop the financial contagion from spreading; and he stressed the
need to further open and improve the global trading system, while
maintaining labor, environmental, and consumer-protection standards.
All this is grist for our important meeting today and for continued
discussions in the future. But it only compliments the historic step
that Brazil is taking today.

For in joining the NPT and ratifying the CTBT, Brazil has hit what any
baseball fan on any continent would call back-to-back home runs.

So Mr. Foreign Minister, today you are Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire of
international diplomacy. (Laughter.)



(end transcript)