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A Conversation with Assunção Afonso dos Anjos

Speaker: Assuncao Afonso dos Anjos, Angolan Minister Of External Relations
Presider: Vincent A. Mai, Chairman, Aea Investors, LLC
September 29, 2009, New York.
Council on Foreign Relations

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(Note:  The remarks of Minister dos Anjos are through interpreter.)

VINCENT A. MAI:  Good morning, everybody.  Welcome to the council this morning.  My name is Vincent Mai, and it's my great pleasure to host this event this morning for the minister of external affairs for Angola, Assuncao dos Anjos, accompanied by his delegation, several of whom are here this morning, who are here either based in New York or Washington or have come from other parts of the world to be at the U.N. General Assembly.

It's a great honor for us to welcome the minister here this morning with his delegation.  We all know that over the last few years Angola has become an increasingly important participant in various forums in Africa,  in the African Union, in the SADC, as part of OPEC. The economy is booming, and there's a great opportunity for expanded bilateral relationships between the U.S. and Angola, and the minister is very much in the middle of all that.

The minister himself -- you've got the background on him in your material, but he's had a very distinguished career, and I'll only say that he's been Angola's minister to Spain, to France, to Portugal. And if I'm correct, I think today is the first anniversary of his becoming the minister of external affairs, because I read September 29th, 2008, you assumed that great post.  So congratulations on your first anniversary.

So, Minister, look forward to --

MINISTER ASSUNCAO AFONSO DOS ANJOS:  (In English.)  Thank you very much --

MAI:  If you'd like to come up and address the group.

DOS ANJOS:  (In English.)  Thank you very much.

(Off mike.)

So, Mr. President, Vincent Mai -- (through interpreter) -- illustrious members of the Council on Foreign Relations, illustrious ambassadors, directors, I would like to begin by thanking you from the bottom of my heart for the invitation that you have given me, to share with you some reflections vis-a-vis the relationship between the United States of America and the Republic of Angola.

I would reiterate my thanks.  And I would like to mention that I do so on my personal behalf and on the behalf of my delegation.  So it is an immense pleasure that we have the opportunity to speak with regard to the recent evolution of our country, particularly in a country with which we have developed profound strategic partnership relationships.

We do not have much time, but we have many important things to say, and we will not fail to do so.  Obviously, I will briefly try to present you with a history of the recent evolution of my country, from the times of a very difficult war, with which you are familiarized, until we have become this inclusive, tolerant country where national reconstruction has been a priority and has taken steps toward development.

I would like to briefly characterize or provide you with a framework for the evolution that my country has undergone in the past few years.  You all remember the independence of Angola in 1965. Normally the independence brings with it two fundamental realities -- sovereignty as well as peace and stability.  For my country, this did not happen.

There was no combination of sovereignty and stability.  We had achieved sovereignty, but we continued to face external aggression, difficult military war conditions that had many aspects.

First, it began with questions that were of an exogenous, external nature, invasions from third countries.  And there were also internal connections.  There were times when there were relevant aspects that would characterize a civil war.  But all of that is in the past.  Angolans, 27 years off our independence, we were able to add peace to our sovereignty.  We were able to add stability to our sovereignty.

I would also like to provide you with an indication as to three extremely difficult transitions that my country had to undergo almost simultaneously:  transition from war to peace, the transition from a concentrated economy to a market economy, the transition from a one- state party to a democratic and multilateral regime.

Our potential for democracy and our first steps toward building of a market economy from the late 1980s, in terms of democracy, it dates back to the beginning of the 1990s.  In 1991, Angola held its first elections according to democratic-rule parameters.  They were declared universally fair and balanced.  However, one of the concluding -- competing parties did not accept the results, and we all know what the result was.  The war went on, and we only finished it in 2002.

As of then, when sovereignty was combined with stability, we were able to consolidate our society.  Therefore, to create a tolerant, inclusive society, to adjust our step of our calendar, to consolidate democracy, to have democracy, to have democratic awareness and culture -- and the people absorbed and executed this task massively.

So I would like to say -- first of all, schematically, to characterize the situation that is in place in our country.  In Angola we have the assumptions of development, which are peace, stability -- political stability, social stability, economic stability.  Even for us to have economic stability, we had to go from a very unfavorable social situation.  At the end of the war, the country was destroyed. We had a(n) infrastructure deficit that was very pronounced.  We had to rebuild almost everything.

In addition, our situation in -- economic situation was very unfavorable.  First, we had to try to adjust our macroeconomic indicators.  Just to give you an idea, for example, some of these indicators -- for example, that of inflation -- we had a four-digit inflation.  In 1966, we had 3,000-percent inflation -- 3,000 percent.

Right after the peace was installed in 2002, we went down to two- digit inflation.  And in 2004, we had 31 percent inflation; 2005, 17 percent.  And in 2006, we went down to 11 percent.  For this year, 2009, we would break the barrier to the one-digit inflation zone.  Our  economic -- indigenous economic situation, internal situation, has the conditions for this to take place.

But as all -- we all know, we are facing an economic crisis that have impacts in African countries like mine that are into the developing; repercussions in terms of a substantial reduction in revenues, since our export products have been facing decreasing prices in the international markets.

We would like to create political stability, economic stability. And to have economic stability, we needed to have the economic situation, too, for this to happen.  In transportation -- goods -- of goods and people.

In second place, we would like to attract investment.  Third place, we would like to achieve sustainable levels of GDP growth. Fourth, create conditions to attract investments, to train qualified Angolan technical staff as the first factor for the country's development.

Another issue was to seek a development model, and the characterization of the role of the state in that development. Obviously, we chose to follow the path of sustainable development.

After great reflection, we concluded that the most adequate -- appropriate development for our country, which was in accordance with our national reality, was to follow the -- follow a sustainable economic and social development model because it creates jobs; because even though Angola is a country that produces oil and diamonds, the basis of our economic development continues to be agriculture, because based on agriculture, we will promote sustainable development.

To create food self-sufficiency, to combat poverty, to create jobs, it induces the creation of agricultural/industrial sectors and industrialization.  In addition, it gives the country the structure for the future, because we all know that oil is not a renewable asset. Therefore, we have adopted internal policies based on which the oil revenues will promote the growth of other economic sectors in the country -- agriculture, industry, commerce, et cetera, et cetera.

And how do we do this?  Through a credit policy that is coherent and correct.  We created a development bank to encourage projects in the agricultural and industrial sectors.  And the preference for these banks is to dedicate 5 percent of oil revenues and 3 percent of diamond revenues to this effort.

One of the biggest adjustments that we made in our economy was the structure of our GDP.  Angola's GDP from 2002, 2003, grew at an average annual rate of 18 percent, annual average rate of 18 percent. In 2005 it grew at the clip of 23 percent.  In 2006 it was 22 percent. Naturally, this growth at double-digit growth would continue in this progression.

It is obvious that with the reduction of our ability, to make payments abroad, based on higher revenues from oil and diamonds, which are our two main export products, this will have an impact on our GDP. However despite the crisis, Angola's GDP will grow around two digits. It will not reach 21 or 22 percent but 9-10 percent of growth, because we were able to maintain investments, to have products in our economy that will ensure growth at acceptable levels for our GDP.

Another concern that we had -- with regard to our GDP, not only growth -- you all know that growth is essential.  Economic growth is essential.  It is necessary and instrumental.  It is a means to and end.

Economic growth has never been seen by us as an end in itself but as a means to reach human development, higher levels of human development.  We seek to find means to have growth, to increase the well-being of our populations.

These are our concerns.  And with these measures and seeking financing sources for the rebuilding of our nation, some sources were internal, based on our internal capability, because at the end of the Angolan War, contrary to what happens in other countries, there was no conference of donors to support the rebuilding of our country.

There was an internal effort to this end.  We went -- we reached new directions, and with a democratic country, in a very true nature of the word, so that all the organizations could be chosen by popular vote.

Angola is a solidary (sic) country.  Its peace experience is shared with its neighbors.  It seeks to participate in the ending of armed conflicts in Africa.  And with the United Nations, within the parameters of international law, it seeks to maintain peace and has deserved, increasingly, the applause of the international community because of its initiatives in political and economic stabilization as well as to -- for its contribution to the solution of many problems that we see in Africa.  The invitation to participate in the G-8 meeting is in this vein.  It rewards the efforts and the abilities to organize programs to resolve our problems.

In addition, Angola is the president of the oil-producing countries, and at the international level it has sought to achieve a stable price without much fluctuation in the price of oil, as recently happened when it fell from $147 per barrel to less than 40 (dollars). Angola has adopted this posture, and regionally in the continent, in order to participate in the resolution of the problems that affect humanity.

I tried to provide you with a background on the political, economic and social evolution of our country, but I know that you are anxious to address issues that are related to the bilateral relations between Angola and the United States.  So I will end my remarks here and mention only some final words related to our cooperation with the United States.

I must say that the pace has been very intense for the cooperation which we have with the United States.  Partnerships were formed.  United states is a strategic partner for Angola today, strategic partner for our future.  With the United States, we have agreements in almost all areas -- technologically, scientifically, education, health, bank management expertise, business management, military and all other areas as well.

I am at your disposal, so that we do not absorb the entire time. I am at your entire disposal, to answer any questions, as well as the delegation that's here with me.  We are here to answer any of your questions.  I would again open the floor for your questions. (Applause.)

MAI:  Thank you very much, Minister, for your very thoughtful and clear comments.

I'll start off this meeting by asking you a couple of questions just to start the discussion going.  And then I'd like to turn it over to the floor and get questions that I know exist amongst the members who are out there.

Before we start, just I think you all know the council rules. Please switch off your cellphones.  When you have a question, please identify yourself.  And this meeting today is actually on the record. So but I think you're very familiar with all of that.

Minister, you talked about the importance of U.S.-Angolan relationships.  And I think those views are very much shared in the U.S. administration.

You listed several areas in which there were bilateral agreements between the two countries.  Could you perhaps elaborate a little bit and talk about one or two areas that you think are of particular significance in terms of Angola-U.S. -- as you look toward the year or two, that you thought were of particular priority to you?

DOS ANJOS:  Thank you very much for your question.  It is very timely.

There are effectively some areas in which cooperation has achieved a dynamic by -- some sectors have achieved some dynamics that are more significant than other areas, although I must say that we have several priorities in the context of our relations with the United States.

However, I must say that one sector that has achieved a considerable importance is the health area, namely, the eradication of the main endemic areas and pandemics that affect Africa.  I am talking about malaria and also HIV/AIDS.

We have extensive cooperation in agriculture.  Angola was elected -- we have signed the peace agreement in May during my visit.  There will be a great increase in trade relations.  The American institutions will support this diversification in our relationship.

But I must say that there are areas that from the point of view of the Angolan government we would like to see extensive implementation and priority.

And those are the areas of personnel training, particularly at the college and postgraduate level.

The United States has very profound technological development. There are some technologies that we can absorb.  However, I must mention that I cited here only aspects at the -- of cooperation at the institutional level, between governments.  Because, in fact, the largest area of development -- of cooperation between the United States and Angola is in hydrocarbons, but this cooperation is at the business level.

Great part of the oil that's consumed in the United States, between 9 and 11 percent, comes from Angola, and the trend is to increase that share; also with gas, the levels of consumption of gas from Angola here in the United States.  At this point, we have a large project that is under way to liquefy gas in our country, in collaboration with Angolan companies and two important U.S. companies. A large portion of the production of this enterprise will be consumed here in the United States.

Anyway, I would like to say, we see the relations -- our relations with the United States to be strategic.  There are peaks in some areas where bilateral cooperation is very intense.  We have also brought to this bilateral cooperation some other areas in which we would like to see great development to happen in our relations with the United States, namely, the support -- institutional support for financial management.  And also, economic and commercial management in our country is very important.  It already exists, but it has not reached the levels which we would like to see.  But we are sure that this will happen.

And there are other areas, almost all areas of economic activity, which we are trying to implement this level of cooperation.  We will sign a memorandum that creates a bilateral commission that will systematically and on a day-to-day basis monitor the programs, whether originating in Angola or in the United States, to ensure that they are, indeed, implemented.  This is a bilateral commission that will monitor the evolution of the cooperation between our two countries, proposing new areas for cooperation, new projects and ensuring that these projects will be effectively implemented.

In general, this is -- this would be my response to your question.

MAI:  Thank you, Minister.  That's a very, very clear.  And clearly, many, many areas to work on going forward.  I'll ask just one more question before turning it over to the floor, and that has to do with Zimbabwe.  The whole southern Africa region has really been prospering and developing the last 10 years, as you have indicated, including Angola.  The one country that has not been part of that -- of that encouraging development has been Zimbabwe.

Angola is very much a part of the SADC group, which has been trying to work on finding a resolution to that problem.  Quite frankly, if one looks at that problem, I think that the government of President Mugabe -- which started off extremely well, by the way -- but one has to say that by any measure over the last 10 years has been a significant failure in terms of the economy, in terms of human rights.  By almost any measure, it has been a significant failure.

And my question is that the government of Angola has consistently been a very active supporter of maintaining President Mugabe in power, despite the fact that it seems that he's lost the confidence of his people.  And then, the context of today's situation is, what role Angola is playing, as a crucial member of SADC, to try to really bring a real political change there so that the full potential of Zimbabwe can be -- can be realized along with all the other SADC countries.

DOS ANJOS:  Thank you for your question.  The solidarity of Angola towards its neighbors and to the other African countries, Angola has effectively -- Angola has -- the tendency of Angola is to be a universalist country.

It has the ability to relate to any country in the world.

Zimbabwe is in the southern region of our continent, and such as Angola, Mozambique and South Africa and other countries, it is a member of SADC.  SADC, and Angola particularly, within the framework of SADC, has acted precisely to find a solution that is political for the problem that has lately occurred in Zimbabwe.

There were elections in March of last year which were not conclusive.  The results did not allow for a government to take place with a strong supporting parliament, and there were problems.  There were problems between the (Mugabe ?) party and (Tsvangirai's ?) party.

But immediately, SADC intervened in a positive manner to promote a dialogue between the parties so that they could have a government of national inclusion, so that government -- governance could be ensured, so that they could end the political instability, and naturally for Zimbabwe to regain its place in the region as a major producer of agricultural products and as an important country in the southern region of our continent.  Angola has had an active and deep participation in these discussions.

We personally and many of the members of my delegation, who are here, had numerous meetings in all parts of Africa -- in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique -- in order to resolve this problem.

What was the decision that we reached?  We reached an agreement between the parties to have a national coalition government.  But the difficulties did not end.  A facilitator was appointed to conduct and coordinate these dialogues.

The parties accepted to have this government.  We identified the number of governing individuals, the number of authorities that would be allotted to each party, which ministries and how many ministries would be allotted to each party.

It is obvious that the ministries of a sovereign nature were highly disputed.  After many conversations, we were able to reach some conclusions.  But problems such as defense and interior ministries continued, persisted.

In December of last year, there was -- we only had to find the solution for the interior ministry.  We had to find a solution, a contingency to guarantee governance for Zimbabwe.

We were -- we had to find a two-faced -- a two-headed leadership.  We did it to find a solution, to end the suffering of the Zimbabwean people, to have an inclusive government, to find a solution for this government to become effective immediately, to find the mechanism to have a ministry with two heads.  And in February of this year the president -- the prime minister, Tsvangirai, took power.

SADC continues to monitor the events in Zimbabwe, but there is one aspect that I think we must rectify.  In the analysis that is made with regard between Angola and SADC and Zimbabwe, we are democratic countries, and we respect the democratic expression of each of the countries of our region and in the world.  Naturally Angola and no country will seek to remove this or other head of state from power when the people of the country, through free and fair elections, have chosen that leader.

What our regional associations can do is to try to dialogue, to find cohesion and reduce the differences, but never from the point of view -- from a conceptual point of view, from a democracy point of view of a democratic practice, it would be completely anti-democratic to try to undermine a head of state that has been -- who has been freely elected.

Angola is solidarity, SADC solidarity; but the purpose is to find cohesion in the countries that have political referenda, in order to resolve political differences through dialogue.  And that is what Angola has done.  And the government of Zimbabwe is here and has achieved some successes in rebuilding their country.  It has deserved the support of large parts of the international community.  There are projects that are focused on providing support for Zimbabwe, either of a financial nature or supporting the rebuilding of its economy.

And the role of SADC is that whenever there is a referendum, we will hold meetings so that the parties can understand each other and meet the responsibilities of the agreements that they have signed and that are -- meet the expectations of the Zimbabwean people.

However, the neighboring countries cannot question whether a democratically elected head of state should or should not remain in power.  We believe that would be anti-democratic and would go against all principles of democracy.

MAI:  Okay, now I'm going to turn this over to the floor.  I see Frank Wisner.  By the way, I might recognize, Frank and I were the co-chairs of the report on Angola which the Council put on a couple of years ago.  Nice to see you, Frank.

QUESTIONER:  Thank you, Vincent.

Mr. Minister, welcome to New York and to the Council.  We're all very glad you're here with your delegation.  Minister, you've just talked about the Southern African region.

Let me ask you about a different region, one of growing importance to the United States and to Europe.  And that's the Gulf of Guinea.

You have -- you have established in Angola stability, peace, functioning institutions.  But that's not true throughout the Gulf of Guinea from Sao Tome, Principe to the Congo to Congo-Brazzaville. There's even weaknesses in southern Nigeria.  The region is a region of considerable instability.

What responsibility does Angola have for building stability in the Gulf of Guinea?  And what are -- what are the relations Angola foresees with external parties -- my country, Europe, other African nations -- as partners in building a stronger, more peaceful and stable Gulf of Guinea region?

DOS ANJOS:  Thank you very much for your question.

This question again refers to the component of solidarity that Angola has.  Angola is part of the Gulf of Guinea Commission at this time.  It is -- it chairs the Gulf of Guinea Commission.

This means that in its potential to stabilize the continent, Angola talks to the various regions becoming a member, to assume its role in contributing to the stabilization of the countries in the region that face problems, as well as to transform the Gulf of Guinea into a zone of peace and a zone where trade relations may flow freely, where the security issues are minimally resolved, where terrorism and piracy are eradicated.

And as chair of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, I can announce that Angola has strategic projects for the Gulf of Guinea, for the South Atlantic, interacting and dialoguing in the South Atlantic region, transforming it into a secure zone for the development of trade relations and the economies of the coastal countries and interacting with other countries in the Atlantic, in America, interacting with the countries of the North Atlantic to transform this ocean in -- our ocean, which will allow trade relations between the peoples, (peace ?) security, without terrorism or piracy acts, with a great agglutination of states in the Atlantic to do exactly what I mentioned before -- in other words, to transform the Atlantic into a zone of peace, of dialogue; to promote trade and friendship among the countries.

And we are already doing that in the South Atlantic, in the coast -- Atlantic coast of Africa, dialoguing with the North Atlantic in a tripartite dialogue between the North and South Atlantic and other areas of the Atlantic, in the continental strip of -- in the Americas.

Therefore, this collaboration, this cooperation and involvement of each country and the groups of countries at a regional level and at a global level -- this will be extremely helpful for us to reach that objective.

MAI:  I'd like to confine -- maybe at the most we have two questions, perhaps with brief answers, if I may say.  Could we -- but have questions that -- on topics that have not been covered so far. So back there.

QUESTIONER:  (Arlene McCross ?), Barclays Capital.  I'm wondering if you could discuss a timetable for Angolan elections, the next round of elections in Angola, and if there have been potential delays.

DOS ANJOS:  Sure.  We have a very exact calendar for elections.  I should say to all of you and to you particularly that immediately after we have achieved peace, our first concern was to hold elections, to promote this democracy.  But the country was destroyed, and with islands without connections to roads.  So we created the infrastructure for contacts in -- within the whole country, so that in the most remote areas of Angola, every Angola citizen will have the right to vote.

Then we created a legal framework, a modern legal framework to sustain the elections; and naturally, educating the population with respect to the benefits of democracy, of tolerance.  It wasn't by accident that the September 5th elections of last year, the civic participation was significant.  This was the result of the work of disseminating the democratic culture in our country.

But before the legislative elections, it was decided that presidential elections would take place, after the approval of a new constitution.  We're not changing constitutions by a simple whim, but because we need to characterize the nature of our regime:  precisely, whether it is a presidential regime; or semi-presidential; or a parliamentary system with an assembly, with cabinets, or like the Weimar constitution, the -- we need to define clearly what kind of regime we have.

So we are basing ourselves on the most advanced constitutions in the world, because we have made consultations of two great jurists in the United States and France in Europe, and we are applying the theoretical components to our reality.

In our parliament, we are finishing our new constitution, which will submit it to the population for approval.  There are two questions that are fundamental.  All will be through a universal vote.

Another aspect that is being considered:  All of you know that we have had a profound interaction with South Africa.  South Africa has a regime that -- with a political system.  And we must consider the South African regime for a possible application in the other parts of the region.

It is democratic.  It's direct elections.  But naturally the parties run in the elections.  One candidate is running from these parties; if the party wins, could be considered by the parliament as the president of the republic.

The South African constitutions -- which was one of the most modern constitutions, which everyone has praised and which has been the basis for a democracy that is considered, by the world, to be an example -- this is one of the alternatives that we will consider, between direct universal elections and other forms of democratic representation, but always with the participation of the popular vote.

MAI:  Short answer.  (Laughter.)

Over there, please.

QUESTIONER:  (Off mike.)  I'm a journalist.

I was looking at the pamphlet that's outside as we walked in. This is two-and-a-half years old.  And the gentleman up there is one of the -- head of the committee.  It describes Angola as a country which was, very small number of people control power, own most of the wealth.

It said the World Bank put governance near the bottom of the list, that there was a great deal of corruption.  But it said there were some changes.  I want to know, what are you doing now to continue to have some changes, to make improvements, which this report indicated were happening?

DOS ANJOS:  Thank you for your question, so direct and so honest.  This book was written before our elections.  There was a lot of speculation.  As a government, we tried to create the factors -- conditions for free elections, in a country that was destroyed -- whose infrastructure was destroyed, to find ways to regulate each aspect of the elections.  Many people held negative campaigns saying that the government was trying to delay the elections.  This was absolutely not true.  The elections were held; other elections will be held; and the interest of our government is to have popular support for every position in government.

The issue of corruption:  Before I became a minister, I was an Angola ambassador to several countries in the West.  I won't say anything new to say that I also studied in the West.  We know very well the requirements for democracy, the political situation in these countries.  I feel -- I think that there should be an anti-corruption association, such as there is against terrorism.  Because when we speak about corruption, the -- I think about the universalist component.  In our democracies, in our countries, I will say frankly there are signs that there may be corruption.

That's why our country created a body of law to prevent -- first to raise awareness, and then to prevent, detect and fight corruption. For example, in comparative law universally, the issues of corruption, even in the most developed countries, have two paths -- the passive corruption and the active corruption.  Naturally, this is a problem that is of great concern to humanity.  It is of great concern to the international community, and I feel that the international community has to unite to eradicate this phenomenon.

But what amazes me often is that sometimes -- and it's not rare, it is quite frequent -- certain areas from many developed countries present corruption as an endemic and exclusive problem of developing countries.  It is not so.  The political events that we follow and everybody follows, there is manipulation in all of these countries. How many former administrations of countries that we know about are in jails?  The position that many countries adopt with respect to restricting the bonuses for some managers; let's see how many managers are in jail because of fraud amounting to billions of dollars, either in the stock market or the fraudulent bankruptcies of companies, for example.

Ladies and gentlemen, nowadays and before the beginning of the crisis, the largest economies in the world were not states.

They were multinational corporations.  Fifty-two percent of the largest economies in the world before the crisis were multinational corporations.  The volume of business were equal to or bigger than the GDP of many developed countries.

If we are going to quantify and measure corruption, what we are talking about when there is one, two, three or four companies that declared bankruptcy fraudulently?  This is a phenomenon that everybody knows.  We can all read The Wall Street Journal or any newspaper, that there are dozens and dozens of companies, of large-scale companies with revenues that are larger than the GDP of many countries, that have declared fraudulent bankruptcies.

Many countries in Europe are trying to regulate the level of bonuses to which their managers are entitled.  In any of the countries in the Western countries, they can say how much this manager or that manager has received in millions and millions of dollars of bonuses. In any newspaper of the world -- which we all read -- they all say that many times the stock options, when the managers of -- when the board of directors of these companies meet at the end of the year and distribute among themselves the stock options, the legislation of many countries is questioned, whether this is legal, whether this is legitimate.

And we are talking about very high amounts, amounts that are even higher than the budgets of the least-developed countries.

This is an issue that we as diplomats, at the level of the United Nations, we are concerned with the management of the international crisis and other issues, even in tourism, security, food security, solutions for the economic crisis.  And this is one more theme that we, as diplomats and other authorities related to economic management, we must focus on so that there may not be cases such as cases that occurred in the stock markets with managers declaring (rampancy ?) and laying off thousands and thousands of people with amounts that have many zeros trailing them.

This is an issue that must concern all of us.  In our country, we have created the conditions, the laws to prevent corruption, campaigns to raise awareness, laws to detect corruption and laws to repress, to fight, corruption.  We have these conditions.  But we have a global movement in this globalized world in which everyone should participate to eradicate this practice that every country condemns and apparently exists everywhere.

MAI:  Thank you, Minister.  I can't help saying we could have a long debate about this last subject, but I can't help commenting, though, that there is a transparent -- there is a transparent process here in terms of what the rules and regulations are.  And if there has been fraud, it is -- there is a very active process here to prosecute those who have been responsible for the fraud, and that process is going on.  And I think, you know, this is a process that one hopes could be encouraged as a worldwide practice.  But --

DOS ANJOS:  But I think we have to -- sorry.

The recent democracies have institutions that are not as solid, as historical as those institutions of the countries with more advanced and more -- older democracies.

But we will get there.  We have created the institutions.  We have enforced the laws.  And we are requesting the cooperation of the developed countries.  This is one aspect which we have been discussing with the United States, the aspects of compliance, the monitoring of financial system, of our banks, the central bank, the debt management.

Of course, we will get there.  We will strengthen our institutions so that they may function and detect corruption once so that we may eradicate this which we want to combat.

MAI:  I would like just, on behalf of all the members here, to thank the minister for a wonderful presentation -- (applause) -- full of energy, and thank the members of the delegation.

DOS ANJOS:  (In English.)  Thank you very much.

 

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