IN Diplomacy extends a very warm welcome to Singapore as the new Ambassador of Brazil to Singapore. What were your first impressions of Singapore?
IN the little time that I have been here, everything i read about how developed, sophisticated and advanced Singapore is, has been more than confirmed. I am always flabbergasted to see how driven this city is, it is a garden city, every thing here has been well taken care of and so well manicured. Despite the fact that you have perhaps the highest demographic density in the world with 5.5 million inhabitants in 770 sq km, you do not feel overwhelmed by constructions and buildings.
Please share some highlights from your past work and experience before being posted here.
Being a career diplomat I started in 1986 and have completed 30 years in the service. And I have had experience in working in the United Nations and Geneva. My specialisation is in agricultural negotiations. I was also part of the negotiations that led to the settlement of East Timur as an independent country. There, I had many interactions with diplomats and soldiers from different parts of the region. That was also the time when I started developing a feel for the region and am very glad to be back.
How has the world of diplomacy changed since you joined three decades ago?
Yes, the world of diplomacy since i started has changed tremendously. When i started we were living in a bipolar world in which Soviet Union and United States were on a brink of a nuclear confrontation after the fall of the Berlin wall, when US supremacy seemed to last for ever. Then later came September 11, the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rise of China, which has become the second most powerful economic power, taking on both Germany and Japan.
Now we are seeking a multi polar world, with totally different dynamics. We also had seen the rise of the Asian Tigers, proving that it is possible for a developing country to reach developed status. It has been a very exciting period that has also forced us to adjust to the new realities and be responsive to the change, e.g. in my own country, when in 1986 we had the democratic elected government.
Overall, I feel In today’s world the diplomat still has a very important role to play in world affairs.