Open main menu

Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim (born June 3, 1942) is a Brazilian diplomat who served as Minister of Foreign Relations from July 20, 1993 to December 31, 1994 under President Itamar Franco and again from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2010 under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He was Minister of Defence from August 4, 2011 to December 31, 2014 under President Dilma Rousseff.[1][2]

Celso Amorim
Celso Amorim.jpg
Amorim in 2007
Minister of Defence
In office
August 4, 2011 – December 31, 2014
PresidentDilma Rousseff
Preceded byNelson Jobim
Succeeded byJaques Wagner
Minister of External Relations
In office
January 1, 2003 – December 31, 2010
PresidentLuiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Preceded byCelso Lafer
Succeeded byAntonio Patriota
In office
July 20, 1993 – December 31, 1994
PresidentItamar Franco
Preceded byLuiz Felipe Lampreia
Succeeded byLuiz Felipe Lampreia
Personal details
Celso Nunes Amorim

(1942-06-03) June 3, 1942 (age 77)
Santos, São Paulo, Brazil
Spouse(s)Ana Maria Amorim
ResidenceBrasília, Brazil
ProfessionDiplomat, politician

Before his appointment by Lula, Amorim served as Brazil's ambassador to the United Kingdom.[3] On October 7, 2009, Amorim was named the "world's best foreign minister" by Foreign Policy magazine blogger David Rothkopf.[4]


Early life and academic careerEdit

Amorim was born in Santos, São Paulo, on June 3, 1942.

He graduated from the Rio Branco Institute, a graduate school of international relations run by the Ministry of External Relations, in 1965, and obtained his post-graduate degree in International Relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in 1967.

Amorim was a professor of Portuguese language at the Rio Branco Institute, as well as professor of political science and international relations at the University of Brasília. He is a permanent member of the Foreign Affairs Department of the University of São Paulo Institute of Advanced Studies.

Political careerEdit

Amorim has a long history of government service, beginning in 1987 when he was appointed Secretary for International Affairs for the Ministry of Science and Technology. He served in that position until 1989, when he was selected to be the Director-General for Cultural Affairs in the Ministry of External Relations. Amorim was shifted again in 1990, moving to a new post as Director-General for Economic Affairs. In 1993, he was promoted to the position of Secretary General of the Brazilian foreign-affairs agency.

While serving in the Ministry of External Relations, Amorim spent large amounts of time working as an ambassador to the United Nations. Most notably, he represented Brazil on the KosovoYugoslavia sanctions committee in 1998, and the Security Council panel on Iraq in 1999. Amorim was named as Brazil's permanent ambassador to the United Nations and the WTO later that year, and served for two years before becoming ambassador to the United Kingdom in 2001.

WTO controversyEdit

On July 19, 2008, Amorim stirred up controversy by comparing the descriptions used by wealthier countries to characterize the agricultural concessions they were offering during the Doha Round of WTO talks to the work of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. This brought a swift condemnation from the U.S. State Department.[5]

Later careerEdit

Celso serves on the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance, chaired by Madeleine Albright and Ibrahim Gambari. In November 2016, he was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, co-chaired by Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland, and Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana.[6]

In addition, Celso holds a number of honorary positions, including the following:

  • Unitaid, Chair of the Executive Board (since 2017)[7]
  • Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD), Member of the Board of Advisors[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Amorim is married to Ana Maria Amorim and has four children: Vicente, Anita, João, and Pedro.[9]


  1. ^ Brazil will not 'sell' Amazon Archived March 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Gulfnews
  2. ^ Brazil's Defense Minister Is Ousted WSJ. Retrieved on 2011-08-04.
  3. ^ CV of Celso Amorim on Ministry of External Relations website Archived October 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ David Rothkopf (2009-10-07). "The world’s best foreign minister", Foreign Policy.
  5. ^ Klapper, Bradley S. (2008-07-19). "Brazil official's Nazi reference rocks WTO talks". Associated Press. Newsvine. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  6. ^ Secretary-General Appoints Two Former Presidents, 14 Others as Members of High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines United Nations, press release of 19 November 2015.
  7. ^ Unitaid welcomes Brazil’s Celso Amorim as new Unitaid Chair and the UK’s Sarah Boulton as Vice Chair Unitaid, press release of 23 June 2017.
  8. ^ Board of Advisors Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD).
  9. ^ "Minister of External Relations: Ambassador Celso Amorim". Ministry of External Relations. Archived from the original on 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
Political offices
Preceded by
Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Minister of Foreign Relations
July 20, 1993 – December 31, 1994
Succeeded by
Luiz Felipe Lampreia
Preceded by
Celso Lafer
Minister of Foreign Relations
January 1, 2003 – December 31, 2010
Succeeded by
Antonio Patriota
Preceded by
Nelson Jobim
Minister of Defence
August 4, 2011 – December 31, 2014
Succeeded by
Jaques Wagner