Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Brazil)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministério das Relações Exteriores

Itamaraty Palace
Agency overview
Formed 8 July 1736[1]
Headquarters Itamaraty Palace
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco H
15°48′36″S 47°52′12″W / 15.81000°S 47.87000°W / -15.81000; -47.87000
Annual budget Increase BRL 1.89 billion (2015)[2]
Minister responsible
Agency executive
Child agencies

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (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 Itamaraty, after the palace which houses the ministry (originally in Rio de Janeiro, and currently in a second location which also bears this name in Brasília).[3][4] As of May 15, 2016 the ministry is headed by Chancellor José Serra.[5]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs operates the Rio Branco Institute and the Alexandre de Gusmão Foundation.[6][7]


The Itamaraty Palace in Rio de Janeiro, former headquarters and current regional office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil

There were three relevant moments that defined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the institution that would later be established. The first 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, but was instead a pursuit of interests by the Portuguese in their largest colony. There was, however, a notable Brazilian in the diplomatic corps, Alexandre de Gusmão, who directed the Portuguese foreign policy of trying to separate the Americas from the subject of European successions. The height of Gusmão's diplomatic effort was the signing of the Treaty of Madrid of 1750, in which 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 were 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 Foreign Affairs in the process of recognizing Brazilian independence. This moment's relevance surpassed the creation of Brazilian diplomatic institutions and for the first time tested the negotiation skills of Emperor Peter I's diplomatic corps, which achieved recognition from every world power.

From that moment on and since its inception in 1822, Itamaraty has defined some of its basic principles of action such as the peaceful 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 Brazil's presence in international forums.

Notable diplomats in the history of Itamaraty include the Viscount of Uruguay, the Baron of Rio Branco and Osvaldo Aranha.[8][9]

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.[10]

Brazil currently maintains diplomatic relations with every U.N. member country in the world.[11]

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 220 overseas missions:[12]

See also

Notes and references

  1. Brazilian Government Web Portal
  2. Portal Orçamento (October 2014). "Projeto de Lei Orçamentária para 2015" (PDF). Senado federal. p. 25. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  3. "Itamaraty". Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  4. "The Ministry (About page)".
  5. "Discurso do Embaixador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado na cerimônia de posse do Ministro de Estado das Relações Exteriores".
  6. "Fundação Alexandre de Gusmão". Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  7. "Instituto Rio Branco". Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  8. CARVALHO, Carlos Delgado de. História Diplomática do Brasil. Brasília, Senado Federal, 1998;
  9. 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:
  10. "Neighbors will receive special attention". Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  11. "Brazilian diplomatic relations".
  12. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil

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

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