Diplomacy Briefing— Global


An interview with the Geneva-based, football-playing Brazilian permanent representative to the WTO.

Geneva, NATO, Roberto Azevedo, UN

Team player

“It seems like the less we progress in negotiations, the more we work,” says Ambassador Roberto Azevedo, Brazil’s Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation (wto) as he explains the ins-and-outs of the never-ending multilateral trade jamboree that takes place on Lake Geneva.

The life of a diplomat at the wto is about making alliances. “We always team up, we co-sponsor proposals,” says the economic specialist, who explains how his day is a juggle of formal meetings, informal pow-wows…


Stefanie Babst



Dr Stefanie Babst is acting deputy assistant secretary general for Public Diplomacy at Nato. Her role focuses on communicating the organisation’s agenda.

** Nato’s brand receive a boost from its successful operations in Libya?**
The press realised we could respond swiftly and decisively. But we want to be clear that Nato’s work does not end after a combat operation. In the Balkans, Nato is still there after 10 years. The same applies for Afghanistan.

And what about Libya, is your work done there?
It depends on the Libyan transitional government. Our door is always open: we are available to assist with military reform, with security sector reform.

Is it difficult to promote the soft power of an organisation known for military operations?
It’s extremely difficult. I’ve been working on Nato’s public diplomacy for 10 years and I still come across the perception that Nato is related to the Cold War.

Is Nato’s credibility vulnerable to the defence budget cuts we’re seeing?
When our American colleagues move their strategic focus to the Asia Pacific region – we must be ready for more responsibilities. There will be many sceptical voices if Europeans do not live up to the challenge.


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