By Dialogo March 29, 2013 SÃO PAULO — Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim said his country and South Africa — both large multiethnic democracies with diverse security challenges — should improve their cooperation in military matters. Amorim spoke earlier this month at the first Brazil-South Africa Joint Defense Committee conference in Brasília. The March 5-7 event was aimed at strengthening links between the two nations’ military industries. Brazilian efforts to solidify the country’s defense strategy include buying new equipment and creating new brigades and battalions such as the Navy’s Amazônia Azul and the Army’s Sisfron for monitoring Brazil’s vast territory, Amorim said. The Brasília meetings took place just as the-fifth generation A-Darter air-to-air heat-seeking missile — a collaboration between the air forces of Brazil and South Africa — goes into production in São José dos Campos (São Paulo state) later this year. The new infrared homing missile, also named the V3E, will be used on the Brazilian Air Force’s A-1M AMX, F-5BR and future FX-2, as well as on Swedish-made JAS 39 Gripen and Hawk 120 fighter jets used by the South African Air Force. Representatives of South Africa’s Aerospace Maritime and Defense Industries (AMD) spoke of their country’s ability to produce helicopters, ships and unmanned aerial vehicles. In particular, they praised a new generation of UAVs that can remain aloft for up to 16 hours. It hasn’t been determined when the Brazil-South Africa Joint Defense Committee will meet again. UN: Brazilian experience a lesson for Africa, Middle East In related news, Amorim met March 6 with Valerie Amos, the United Nations undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, to discuss military training for UN peacekeeping missions. The 30-minute meeting, also in Brasília, looked at the world’s humanitarian crises but focused on Africa and the Middle East, where the United Nations has been heavily involved in peacekeeping efforts. Amos said Brazil’s experience in Haiti, where its troops are part of the multinational United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) serve as an example for other countries. “Without a doubt, our experience in Haiti can be shared,” said Amorim, who agreed to extend Brazil’s cooperation with the UN. He also referred to the Rio de Janeiro-based Joint Center for Peace Operations [Centro Conjunto de Operações de Paz do Brasil, or CCOPAB in Portuguese) and its ability to train foreign soldiers for peacekeeping missions abroad.