Joint Statement by President Rousseff and President Obama
At the invitation of President Dilma Rousseff, the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, paid a State Visit to Brazil on March 19, 20 and 21, 2011.
BRAZIL AND THE UNITED STATES AS GLOBAL PARTNERS
Noting the interdependence among peace, security and development, President Rousseff and President Obama reaffirmed their desire to build a just and inclusive world order, which promotes democracy, human rights and social justice.
Recognizing the need of reforming international institutions to reflect the current political and economic realities, the two leaders welcomed the designation of the G20 as the premier forum for coordinating economic policy, and efforts to reform the governance of international financial institutions. The Presidents agreed 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 also needs to reform, and expressed their support for a modest expansion of the Security Council that improves its effectiveness and efficiency, as well as its representation. President Obama expressed appreciation for Brazil’s aspiration to become a permanent member of the Security Council, and acknowledged its assumption of global responsibilities. The two leaders agreed to continued consultation and cooperation between the two countries to achieve the vision outlined in the UN Charter of a more peaceful and secure world.
They highlighted the maturity and depth of the relationship between Brazil and the United States, which is based on shared values and principles and characterized by the ties of friendship that have brought their multicultural nations closer throughout their histories as independent States.
They decided to elevate to the Presidential level the major dialogues between the two countries, including the Global Partnership Dialogue, the Economic and Finance Dialogue, and the Strategic Energy Dialogue. The leaders directed the ministers involved to convene and report to them regularly.
Economy, Trade, Investment, G20 and Doha Round
The Presidents stressed the mutual benefits created by greater economic, financial and commercial cooperation. While recognizing the high quality and diversification of trade between Brazil and the United States, they emphasized the importance of building on, deepening, and broadening that relationship. They acknowledged the great potential of reciprocal investments, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, energy and high technology.
They underscored the relevant work of the Economic Partnership Dialogue, the Bilateral Consultative Mechanism on trade policy, and the Commercial Dialogue. They also highlighted the importance of enhanced private sector engagement, through both the VI CEO Forum meeting and the launching of the Business Summit, which were held in the context of this presidential visit and welcomed with interest their contributions and recommendations.
The leaders welcomed a series of important agreements reached today, including an Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation; and an Agreement on Air Transportation and an associated Memorandum of Consultations on Air Transportation. They also expressed their expectation about the entry into force of the Agreement on Maritime Transport and of the Tax Information Exchange Agreement in the near future.
The Presidents noted that good regulatory practices and improved regulatory cooperation can contribute to competitiveness and the economic well-being of both Brazil and the United States, such as the initiatives being considered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with the Instituto Nacional de Metrologia, Normalização e Qualidade Industrial (INMETRO).
Considering that Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and recalling the US experience in organizing events of this magnitude and the interest of the US Government in sharing this experience with Brazil, the leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Major Global Sporting Events, aimed at intensifying bilateral cooperation, particularly on infrastructure, safety, and security.
The Presidents reiterated the importance of consolidating the G20 and its role in coordinating actions for international economic cooperation, including encouraging the adoption of policies needed to avoid large economic and financial imbalances.
Building on the strong cooperation achieved in coordinating the global response to the global economic crisis through the G20, the Presidents decided to formalize a Brazil-US Economic and Financial Dialogue. The dialogue will seek to coordinate positions on global economic policy and find opportunities for greater bilateral economic cooperation. They also recommended that the senior officials in charge of the G20 in both countries, including Finance Ministers and the Sherpas, continue to conduct regular consultation on the topics of the group’s agenda, as a means to enhance bilateral coordination.
They reaffirmed the imperative to modernize the international financial institutions in a way that reflects the changes in the world economy and moves towards global financial stability, sustainable development and poverty reduction.
In relation to the G20 discussions about volatility in agricultural commodities’ prices, they recognized the need for greater transparency in commodity markets, and for improved regulation of financial mechanisms that affect pricing. They recommended caution when considering measures that could distort the operation of commodity markets.
The Presidents reaffirmed their strong commitment to bring the WTO Doha Round to a successful, ambitious, comprehensive and balanced conclusion. Pursuant to the conclusion from the Seoul G20 Summit, they directed their negotiators to intensify and expand their direct engagement to complete the negotiations, building on the progress made to date. They agreed that a successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations could increase the credibility and legitimacy of the multilateral trading system and could play a useful role in spurring global economic growth, particularly in creating jobs.
Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development
The Heads of State agreed that the two countries have converging interests in energy-related matters, including in oil, natural gas, biofuels and other renewables. President Obama stated that the United States seeks to be a Strategic Energy Partner of Brazil. They praised the Working Group on Energy and the Memorandum of Understanding to Advance the Cooperation on Biofuels and decided that their work will be carried out under the umbrella of a bilateral Strategic Energy Dialogue.
They supported the progress achieved under the Memorandum of Understanding to Advance the Cooperation on Biofuels, particularly in relation to cooperation in third countries. They welcomed the participation of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Development Bank in such trilateral cooperation. They underscored the importance of mobilizing public and private research institutions in the two countries to intensify cooperation in developing innovative technologies to produce advanced biofuels, and committed to enhance the bilateral and multilateral dialogue on sustainable production and use of bioenergy.
The Presidents took note, with satisfaction, of the launching, under the Memorandum of Understanding to Advance the Cooperation on Biofuels, of the Partnership for the Development of Biofuels for Aviation, which provides for coordination in establishing common standards and specifications, and strives to facilitate bilateral cooperation by convening experts from research institutions, academia, and the private sector.
They welcomed the strengthening of the collaboration on environment and climate change, including under the Common Agenda on Environment and the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Regarding Climate Change, and agreed to include in the Common Agenda a discussion on the concept of green economy.
They agreed on the importance of a green economy in the context of sustainable development as a means for generating economic growth, creating decent jobs, eradicating poverty and protecting the environment. In this sense, they agreed to initiate a dialogue on a joint initiative on urban sustainability cooperation which will serve as a platform for actions addressing the challenges and opportunities of developing urban infrastructure that promotes sustainable development with concrete economic, social and environmental benefits.
They expressed their satisfaction with the conclusion, in September 2010, of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, which provides for converting foreign debt into credits for the conservation of tropical forests.
They underscored the importance of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) and recognized the relevance of the project “Sustainable Urban Planning and Energy Efficient Construction for Low-Income Areas of the Americas”. Brazil conveyed its intention to host an ECPA Ministerial Meeting in the future.
The Heads of State reiterated their satisfaction with the Cancun agreements at the 16th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. They affirmed their commitment to the implementation of outcomes of the Cancun Meeting and to enhance efforts in anticipation of a successful outcome in Durban, South Africa.
They reiterated the importance of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, in 2012, and committed to work closely together to ensure its success.
Democracy, Human Rights, Racial Equality and Social Inclusion
The leaders stressed the shared commitment to promote and protect human rights and to support the consolidation of democracy around the world. In keeping with the Inter-American Democratic Charter, they reaffirmed that democracy is essential to political, economic, and social development. They reiterated that the values of liberty, equality, and social justice are intrinsic to democracy, and that the promotion and protection of human rights is a basic prerequisite for the existence of a democratic society.
They agreed that Brazil’s experience in constructing a successful model of democratic development could be useful to countries in the process of building their own democracies and addressing historic social inequities. In this regard, President Obama applauded Brazil’s success in fashioning policies and programs to fight poverty, inequality, and marginalization. President Rousseff welcomed the possibility of enhancing international cooperation activities by replicating Brazilian best practices in social development.
The Presidents decided to work closely to enhance global food security. They highlighted the importance of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program as an innovative multilateral mechanism to finance country-led agriculture plans. President Rousseff emphasized Brazil’s willingness to provide leadership on international food issues, including at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The Presidents welcomed the achievements of the 2008 Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality, encompassing issues pertaining to justice and public safety, labor relations, health, education and environmental fairness, with the engagement of the civil society and the private sector in combating discrimination.
They stressed that human rights violations of children and adolescents will not be tolerated by the two countries and that the recognition and empowerment of women is a priority of both governments. They noted with satisfaction the progress under the Memorandum of Understanding for the Advancement of Women, and pledged to enhance cooperation in gender issues both bilaterally and multilaterally. In this context, they highlighted the project “Women and Science.”
They agreed to cooperate in advancing democracy, human rights and freedom for all people bilaterally and through the United Nations and other multilateral fora, including ensuring respect for human rights in the context of the democratic movements and transitions; strengthening the UN Human Rights Council as recently demonstrated in the case of the creation of the Commission of Inquiry on Libya; promoting respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals through the establishment of a Special Rapporteur at the OAS; and improving the conduct of free and fair elections regionally and globally, including through the promotion of human rights in the context of elections and increasing their accessibility to disabled persons.
They reaffirmed their commitment to transparency and accountability in government as key elements in strengthening democracy, including good governance and corruption prevention, and promoting and protecting human rights, and committed to launch a Brazil-US Anti-Corruption Dialogue to facilitate closer cooperation in international efforts to combat corruption. They recalled their commitment to the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan and welcomed their role as co-chairs of a global initiative to advance open government, building on the commitments President Obama called for at the United Nations General Assembly last September.
Education, Health and Culture
The Heads of State directed the creation of a dialogue on education and research, within the appropriate Ministerial mechanism, to review the existing bilateral cooperation programs and propose an action plan aimed at improving and expanding them. They emphasized, in particular, the importance of enhanced exchanges in both directions for students engaged in the study of science, health, technology, engineering, computer science, and math and agreed on the need to increase the availability of scholarships, at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
They recommended enhancing the links between educational institutions from both countries, and decided to strengthen bilateral partnerships through, among others, the Fulbright Foundation, the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education and the National Science Foundation, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), and encourage additional contributions by the private sector in both countries to foster bilateral cooperation on education.
President Obama noted, with satisfaction, the Brazilian interest in implementing a broad program for distance learning of English, ranging from teachers’ education to projects aimed at training professionals and other service providers for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
The Heads of States recognized the positive results of the III Meeting of the Working Group on Health. They praised the wide-ranging action plan being prepared on topics that are pertinent to public health in both countries.
They highlighted the importance of culture as a factor for bringing nations closer together. They decided to enhance bilateral cooperation on culture and to review the existing initiatives, under the appropriate Ministerial mechanism, to encourage the exchange of collections, exhibits and educational programs between cultural institutions.
Science, Technology, Innovation and Space Cooperation
The Presidents affirmed that innovation and investment in science and technology, and associated human capital are keys to sustained economic growth and competitiveness. They expressed their support for the work of the Joint Commission for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, and praised the results of the Innovation Summits. They encouraged further communication between these initiatives.
President Rousseff welcomed the emphasis the U.S. National Space Policy has placed on international cooperation and expressed her wish to expand the dialogue with the United States bearing in mind the guidelines of the Brazilian space policies, aimed at technological capacity building and the commercial use of infrastructure and technology.
In this context, they welcomed the signing of a new bilateral Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and expressed their desire to commence negotiations of a new agreement to protect launching operation technologies.
Furthermore, they affirmed the commitment of their countries to security in space and decided to initiate a dialogue in that area. They also instructed the appropriate agencies in the two countries to discuss the establishment of a Brazil – United States. Working Group on satellite-based earth observations, environmental monitoring, precipitation measurement, and natural disaster mitigation and response that would facilitate future dialogue and cooperation in these fields.
Defense, Disarmament, Nonproliferation and Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
The Presidents recalled the progress achieved on defense issues in 2010, with the signing of the Defense Cooperation Framework Agreement and, more recently, the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). They committed to undertake efforts to follow up on the established dialogue in this area, primarily on new opportunities for cooperation.
They recognized the importance of enhanced regional disaster relief and crisis management coordination efforts and took note of the proposal presented to the IX Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas for coordinated military support for civilian disaster response in the Americas.
They reaffirmed both countries’ commitments on disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, with a view to achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. In this regard, the Presidents welcomed the opportunity to build on the successes of the recent Nuclear Security Summit, the VII Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and the ratification of the New START Treaty between the United States and Russia. They also decided on the need to bring into force the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, start negotiations on a Fissile Material Treaty, and to achieve a successful Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference in December 2011 and underscored the importance of compliance with and full implementation of all disarmament and non-proliferation related international obligations, including relevant UN Security Council and IAEA resolutions calling for countries to demonstrate the exclusively peaceful nature of their nuclear programs.
They noted, with satisfaction, that the Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation includes nuclear energy, focusing on the following aspects: probabilistic risk assessment, reactor life sustainability, development of human resources, licensing, management of serious accidents, emergency response, prevention, and combustion efficiency.
The leaders agreed to strengthen the dialogue and bilateral and multilateral cooperation on nuclear security and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In this context, they decided to commence talks on Brazilian participation in the “Partnership for Nuclear Security” (PNS), which could provide support for experts from both countries in activities related to research and development and to training and education in the areas of physical protection of installations and nuclear security and took note of Brazil’s interest in joining the United States to support the International Atomic Energy Agency “Peaceful Uses Initiative” (PUI), a campaign launched last year to foster nuclear applications in the developing world for human health, food security, water management, and infrastructure. The Leaders also proposed to explore cooperation on a regional Center for Excellence that would serve as a forum for sharing information, best practices and training in partnership with relevant multilateral organizations, and noted the intention of the two governments to pursue a Memorandum of Understanding on the Megaports Initiative to prevent illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials.
The Presidents noted with satisfaction the growing ties between the peoples of both countries and directed the Bilateral Consular Dialogue to consider measures to facilitate travel for business, educational and tourist purposes.
They agreed to enhance the dialogue on the implementation, both in Brazil and in the United States, of the 1980 Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
Cooperation in Third Countries
The Presidents highlighted the significant role of trilateral cooperation with Least Developed Countries on the priority and cross-cutting aspects of the global partnership between the two largest democracies in the Americas.
They expressed their satisfaction with the projects that have been carried out within the scope of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Implementation of Technical Cooperation Activities in Third Countries, particularly in Haiti, in other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Africa.
They also welcomed an expanded Brazil – U.S. partnership to build research development and regulatory capacity in East and West Africa to encourage innovation, support science-based transparent regulation, and facilitate clear pathways to agricultural biotechnology, while protecting the public and the environment.
They expressed the interest of both countries in strengthening their dialogue to promote the Decent Work Agenda, with a view to developing projects in cooperation with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and share Brazilian best practices in combating child labor especially in Africa. They welcomed the progress in the negotiations of a joint project for technical cooperation between Brazil, the United States, Haiti and the ILO, to prevent child labor and generate income for vulnerable workers in Caribbean country.
The Heads of State highlighted the importance of having a second round of voting in Haiti, in accordance with popular demand expressed at the voting polls and the election calendar released by the Provisional Electoral Board. In this context, they recognized the important support of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the OAS-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Mission of Election Observers on organizing the elections. They reiterated their commitment to maintain the stability, to strengthen democratic institutions, and to the long-term development of Haiti. They underscored the importance of the timely delivery on the pledges made by the international community in supporting the reconstruction of Haiti, and the role played by the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Committee (IHRC) and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
They reaffirmed the commitment of both countries to an approach that could link the stabilization work carried out by MINUSTAH to the support for Haiti’s political and institutional strengthening and social and economic development.
OAS, Summit of the Americas, MERCOSUL and UNASUL
The Presidents reiterated the commitment of both countries to the OAS and welcomed the efforts that have been made towards making it more transparent and efficient, capable of addressing the challenges of the 21st century, and thus being able to meet the expectation of its member states. They underscored the importance of the Summit of the Americas as a regional coordination body at the highest level. They stressed the need to promote better coordination among the Summit of the Americas, the OAS and the other bodies of the inter-American system, with the aim of providing greater cohesion to regional efforts and of strengthening the synergies among the institutions of the Americas.
The leaders affirmed the valuable contributions towards democracy, peace, cooperation, security and development made by regional and sub-regional integration efforts and agreements, including the Union of South American Nations (UNASUL) and the Southern Cone Market (MERCOSUL), and noted the value of dialogue between UNASUL and the United States.
A SHARED VISION OF THE FUTURE
President Rousseff and President Obama expressed their satisfaction with the status of the relationship between Brazil and the United States as global partners, fully committed to establishing an international world order that is more democratic, fair and sustainable. In this context, the Brazilian President accepted an invitation to visit the United States in the second half of 2011.