SEPTEMBER 15, 2018


A fire that destroyed the historic Museum of Rio, was a catastrophic loss not only for Brazil, but for world culture.

It contained some of the most unique relics, most indigenous artifacts, and some of the most interesting collaborations with other key museums.

Pointedly, no one seemed to be held accountable for how the fire happened, and why the historic museum was left unattended -- structurally -- for a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Corruption is not just political, it seems to be part of bureaucratic entanglements in a vibrating country that deserves much better. Brazil is not just a geographical member state located on the tip of Latin America. It is an active participant in international relations, with a significant role in upholding human dignity.

Brazil's contributions are evident in every aspect of life. Rhythm through its music. Sports through its outstanding soccer. Education through its outstanding professors. Beauty and elegance through its acclaimed Gisele BŁndchen. Diplomats through its highly regarded ambassadors like its former Foreign Minister Celso Amorim. A Brazilian chef de cabinet, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, a backbone, holding the fort for the current U.N. Secretary General.

Former U.N. colleagues, like Gilberto Schlittler, are a reliable anchor for Security Council deliberations. Of course, our unforgettable colleague, Sergio Vieira de Mello -- a potential future Secretary-General -- gave the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the U.N. in Baghdad. Other colleagues in earlier days, like Gilberto Rizzo, were exemplary symbols of an international civil servant. Our colleague who started from the U.N. Information Center in Rio, Manoel e Silva, who produced an attractive book on his Rio, gained for his country and the United Nations on every assignment, whether in Africa, Europe, or the Spokesman's Office in New York.

Such an outstanding Brazil deserves a better national service.