On October 24, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Minister of External Relations Antonio de Aguiar Patriota conducted the fourth meeting of the United States – Brazil Global Partnership Dialogue (GPD) in Washington, D.C. The GPD was first established in 2010 and elevated to the presidential level by President Barack Obama and President Dilma Rousseff in March 2011. This meeting was preceded by senior-level regional consultations on Africa, Asia and Pacific, South Asia, and the Middle East.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Patriota stressed the important role the GPD has played in strengthening cooperation between our two countries, and reaffirmed the joint commitment to form a U.S.-Brazil Partnership for the 21st Century between the governments and peoples of the two nations. The GPD provides a forum through which our countries work together to promote cooperation and dialogue on a broad range of bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues.
The participants expressed satisfaction with the progress under the GPD since the last ministerial on April 16, 2012 in Brasilia. Consultations have been held on the Middle East and Asia that complement dialogues on Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean; economic and commercial issues; science, technology, innovation, and the environment; internet communication and cyber-related issues; and education, culture, and social inclusion. These consultations will continue to facilitate understanding and cooperation between our two countries.
Noting the interdependence among peace, security, and development, Secretary Clinton and Minister Patriota reaffirmed their desire to build a just and inclusive world order that promotes democracy, open government, human rights, and social justice.
The two participants concurred that just as other international organizations have had to change to be more responsive to the challenges of the 21st century, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) also needs to be reformed, and expressed their support for a modest expansion of the Security Council that improves its effectiveness and efficiency, as well as its representativeness. Secretary Clinton reaffirmed the United States’ appreciation for Brazil’s aspiration to become a permanent member of the Security Council and acknowledged its assumption of global responsibilities. The participants agreed they would continue discussions on United Nations Security Council reform.
The participants underlined the political, institutional, humanitarian, and security-related achievements of Haiti and expressed their appreciation for the critical contribution of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). They stressed the integrated nature of MINUSTAH’s mandate. Brazil and the United States encouraged the Government of Haiti to work toward strengthening governance and the rule of law and, in this context, further encouraged Haiti to continue to pursue the development of the Haitian National Police.
Minister Patriota and Secretary Clinton underscored the importance of strengthening bilateral trade and investment and their positive contribution to their respective economies and to create job opportunities. They praised the successful completion of the first meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Investment Dialogue and the VII U.S.-Brazil Economic Partnership Dialogue (EPD) and welcomed the arrival of a Transportation Security Administration Representative to Brazil to promote cooperation on civil aviation issues.
Participants reviewed progress in implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on the Aviation Partnership and the first meeting of its Coordinating Committee in Brasilia on October 10, 2012. Public and private sector participants in the meeting identified thirteen activities to be carried out over the next year, such as workshops on airport service quality and safety practices during construction; specialized training for aviation safety inspectors and air traffic controllers; capacity building; support for the creation of internships in fields such as aviation engineering; strengthening of industry supply chains; and certification for aircraft parts and components.
Both governments underscored their commitment to work together as partners to promote development, food security and nutrition, and agreed to further strengthen the partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, as formalized in the 2010 Memorandum of Understanding for the Implementation of Technical Cooperation Activities in Third Countries and the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding for the Implementation of Technical Cooperation Activities in Third Countries to Improve Food Security. The U.S. and Brazil are currently working together to improve agricultural productivity and agriculture research in Mozambique, and are now planning joint projects to increase agriculture production, decrease malnutrition, and promote renewable energy in Haiti and Honduras. Both governments will seek to finalize a separate Memorandum of Understanding that will promote trilateral cooperation in agriculture technology and will continue to explore opportunities for bilateral and regional cooperation in disaster risk management and response.
Minister Patriota and Secretary Clinton praised the Domestic Finance for Development (DF4D) Workshop that was held in Brasilia and co-hosted by the United States and Brazil on October 9-10, which set the stage for follow-on collaboration with participating countries to encourage fiscal transparency and discourage corruption while making tax administration and budget execution more efficient and effective.
The participants noted the continued increase in travel between our two countries and expressed satisfaction at the significant progress by the Department of State to reduce U.S. visa appointment wait times in Brazil. Secretary Clinton and Minister Patriota appreciated the many actions taken to facilitate the travel of U.S. and Brazilian citizens, including the extension of visas from five to 10 years, the opening of a 10th Brazilian Consulate in the United States, in Hartford, Connecticut, the planned opening of new U.S. consulates in Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre, the latest U.S.-Brazil Consular Dialogue on October 4 in Brasilia, and the first meeting of the Working Group on Visa Issues in Washington, D.C. on October 22. They agreed to continue to strengthen the dialogue in this area.
Recognizing the growing opportunities, threats, and challenges in cyberspace, participants welcomed the first meeting in July 2012 of the Internet and Information Communication Technology (ICT) Working Group, during which interagency representatives from both governments exchanged views and best practices on a broad range of cyber issues. Both sides affirmed the value of open discussion of Internet and ICT issues and pledged to continue these efforts, including consultations on positions in multilateral fora.
The participants reaffirmed the shared commitment to remove barriers to access economic opportunity, education, health, and justice for historically marginalized groups, including people of African descent through the ongoing implementation of the U.S.–Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality, and lauded the successful Joint Action Plan technical meeting and seminar on Equity in Education, both held in Brasilia in August 2012. The participants further agreed that empowering and protecting women and girls requires strong, coordinated action by the international community. As examples of our shared commitment, our two countries are collaborating with Haiti on efforts to combat gender-based violence. The U.S.-Brazil Steering Group to Advance Women in Science was established in August as a direct result of the U.S.-Brazil Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation hosted in Brasilia in March 2012. The Steering Group will provide recommendations to enhance international cooperation among women and establish a network of U.S. and Brazilian female scientists.
Participants welcomed continued implementation of the Action Plan on Education, and our joint efforts to support the U.S. “100,000 Strong in the Americas” initiative and Brazil’s “Scientific Mobility Program” (also known as “Science Without Borders”). They lauded the Department of Commerce-led Education Trade Mission that visited Brazil in September 2012. The mission comprised representatives from 66 U.S. institutions of higher education, making this the largest ever such mission. Participants emphasized the importance of the private sector and research centers in promoting academic mobility between Brazil and the United States, in particular by means of internship offers.
Participants welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Concerning Labor Cooperation signed on May 17 by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Brazilian Ministry of Labor and Employment, and the first meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Labor and Employment Dialogue on October 23 in Brasilia. This initiative will further strengthen efforts under the 2011 MOU for the Implementation of Technical Cooperation Activities in Third Countries in the Field of Decent Work, through which the United States and Brazil have jointly supported a $1.29 million dollar trilateral program to combat and prevent child labor in Haiti, and provided complementary funding of close to $10 million dollars to combat child labor in South American countries and Lusophone Africa.
The participants stressed the need to mobilize innovation and investment around critical global challenges and to introduce businesses, investors, entrepreneurs, and universities to new market opportunities that accelerate economic development and promote sustainable economies. Both parties noted the new “Accelerating Market-Driven Partnerships” (AMP) initiative as an important mechanism for cross-sectoral collaboration to catalyze innovative solutions. Participants also observed with pleasure the successful visit of an Innovation Delegation comprised of entrepreneurs, educators, and technology leaders to Brazil in August 2012, as Secretary Clinton announced in the April 2012 GPD. They also welcomed the ongoing preparations for the first meeting of the Brazil-U.S. Working Group on Innovation, due to take place in the next few months, in fulfillment of the commitments made at the third meeting of the Joint Commission on Science and Technological Cooperation held last March.
Participants also agreed on the importance of identifying areas of cooperation on sports, including through initiatives encouraging the promotion of social inclusion, investment, innovation, education, and women’s advancement related to sports programs.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Patriota reinforced their commitment to Rio+20 outcomes and highlighted the success of the conference in advancing the common vision of the global community on sustainable development. They emphasized the importance of continuing to advance key global priorities, in particular the elaboration of Sustainable Development Goals, strengthening of the institutional framework for sustainable development, and the promotion of sensible approaches to improve the management of our vital natural resources. It is also crucial to integrate the expertise, energy, and commitment of civil society and the private sector in the implementation of sustainable development.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Patriota reaffirmed the importance of both sub-regional and regional processes and noted their important contribution to promoting democracy, peace, cooperation, security, development, and stability in the region. The participants agreed they would continue discussions on these topics.
Participants emphasized the importance of continued high-level consultations, including the upcoming Strategic Energy Dialogue, which will highlight bilateral cooperation across a range of energy technologies, and the Economic and Financial Dialogue, underscoring the importance of private sector engagement, as well as meetings of the Defense Cooperation Dialogue, Defense Bilateral Working Group, Joint Staff Talks, Space Security Dialogue, Political-Military Dialogue, and the Disarmament and Nonproliferation Dialogue.
Noting the need for deeper cooperation on counternarcotics efforts and combating transnational organized crime, the participants agreed to establish a working group that will promote increased dialogue and cooperation between both governments on these matters.
The two sides look forward to continuing regular consultations on a broad range of bilateral, regional, and global issues. The next meeting of the United States-Brazil Global Partnership Dialogue will take place in Brasilia in 2013.