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Joint Statement by President Obama and President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil

April 09, 2012

At the invitation of President Barack Obama, President Dilma Rousseff made an official visit to the United States on April 9, 2012 to discuss their countries' ongoing relationship on a broad range of bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues. The Leaders expressed satisfaction with the constructive and balanced partnership, based on the shared values and mutual trust that exist between their countries, the two largest democracies and economies in the Americas.

To form a U.S.-Brazil Partnership for the 21st Century, the Leaders reviewed the progress of major dialogues elevated to the Presidential-level in March 2011--the Economic and Financial Dialogue, the Global Partnership Dialogue, and the Strategic Energy Dialogue. To contribute to the 21st Century Partnership, the Presidents directed a new Defense Cooperation Dialogue between their two Defense Ministers that will also report regularly to the Presidents. They praised the work and acknowledged the importance of numerous other interactions and consultations between their two governments in enhancing bilateral cooperation.

They coincided on the importance of the contributions from civil society and the private sector to create the basis for a US-Brazil Partnership. The Presidents participated in the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum, noting the important role that the private sector plays in the commercial relationship and welcomed the activities of the April 9, 2012 "US-Brazil Partnership for the 21st Century" conference in Washington focused on trade and investment, energy, innovation, competitiveness, and education.

The Leaders stressed that partnerships between state and local governments contribute to the fostering of friendship and understanding between their countries and to the advancing of shared national goals. They welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to Support State and Local Cooperation, encouraging subnational entities to unite efforts to achieve goals in areas of mutual interest that complement the strengthening of U.S.-Brazil bilateral relations, such as trade and investment, economic opportunity, science, technology and innovation, social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and other megaevents.

The Leaders highlighted the important discussions that have taken place under the Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD). The Presidents noted their satisfaction with the EFD's expanded focus on infrastructure and investment in both countries and welcomed the creation of a dialogue on investment under the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation. The Leaders also noted the importance of the Commercial Dialogue and the Economic Partnership Dialogue between the two countries. President Obama announced the September 2012 trip of the President's Export Council to Brazil and President Rousseff stressed that high-level sectoral trade missions to the US will be organized, in areas such as foodservice, information technology, health and machinery.

President Rousseff underscored the importance of investment in infrastructure--including in view of the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympics Games--as well as in the energy sector, in particular the development of technology and productive capacity in Brazil.

They welcomed the growth of the U.S.-Brazil trade and investment relationship, illustrated by a record $74 billion in two-way trade in 2011. They further emphasized the importance of the mutual benefits of stimulating increased trade and investment. They reiterated their commitment to the multilateral trading system and to working together to ensure that the World Trade Organization contributes to global economic growth and job creation. The Presidents reaffirmed the commitment of both countries to advance trade in services and manufactured goods and to strengthen collaboration in agricultural policies, research, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures, as well as to strive, both in bilateral and multilateral fora, towards the removal of barriers to trade in agricultural products.

They highlighted education as an increasingly important strategic priority for strengthening and supporting all aspects of the U.S.-Brazil partnership, particularly science, technology, innovation, and competitiveness. Recognizing the economic advantages for both countries of increasing contact between Americans and Brazilians, the Presidents welcomed the momentum of and support for the U.S. 100,000 Strong in the Americas and the Brazilian Science Without Borders international exchange initiatives. They hailed the start of activities of the first group of students and researchers participating in Science Without Borders and look forward to welcoming thousands more students in both countries.

The Presidents welcomed the VII US-Brazil CEO Forum's support for the 100,000 Strong in the Americas and Science Without Borders initiatives, and their joint recommendations and commitment to enhanced engagement aimed at strengthening the business environment, increasing bilateral trade and investment, improving infrastructure, enhancing women's economic empowerment, encouraging energy and aviation cooperation, and tracking progress toward these ends.

In the context of the EFD, the Presidents discussed greater collaboration in international financial institutions and as they look toward the G-20 Summit in Mexico to reduce global imbalances, promote financial stability and inclusion; and to create the conditions for strong, sustained, and balanced growth. They stressed the need to deepen the reform of the international financial institutions, which must reflect the new economic realities and, in this regard, underscored the importance of working together on quota and governance reforms in the IMF.

They welcomed the consolidation of the G20 as the highest forum for coordination of international economic policies and reaffirmed the G20 role in advancing measures to promote inclusive growth, job creation and overcoming global imbalances. They recommended that the two countries' senior representatives to the G20 continue to hold regular bilateral consultations. They noted the continued uncertainty present in the international economy while highlighting the important steps recently taken by European policymakers. They welcomed the continued signs of economic recovery in the United States. The Leaders also highlighted the opportunity for closer cooperation in the Multilateral Development Banks.

The Presidents noted the convergence of positions regarding the application of the "Emissions Trading System" (ETS) of the European Union, to international air transport. They further emphasized that issues related to international civil aviation emissions should be resolved multilaterally.

The Presidents underscored the importance of the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil as an opportunity to promote sustainable development through innovation and broad stakeholder engagement. They emphasized the importance of broad participation in the High Level Segment of the Conference, on June 20-22, 2012. In support of this expanded collaboration, they recognized progress on mobilizing investments in smart and sustainable infrastructure in Rio de Janeiro and Philadelphia under the US-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability.

The Leaders praised the strengthening of US-Brazil dialogue on sustainable development and welcomed the adoption of an Environmental Protection Agency-Ministry of Environment Memorandum of Understanding, focused on environmental impact assessment, risk analysis, social inclusion and environmental justice. The leaders also praised the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Sustainable Housing and Urban Development to grow cooperative efforts and deepen learning exchange in the field of sustainable housing and urban development in support of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA).

They welcomed the outcomes of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Durban, in December 2011, which reached a comprehensive and balanced result. They further highlighted the importance of the multilateral system in dealing with climate change through effective implementation of the outcomes from Durban.

The Leaders praised the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Aviation Partnership, as well as progress made toward facilitating greater travel and tourism between their countries while maintaining and improving border security. They noted that the US-Brazil Aviation Partnership will promote bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, air transportation, and air traffic, which will contribute to growth, competitiveness and socioeconomic development in both countries. Areas of engagement may include exchanges of best practices, research and development, innovation, new technologies, sustainability, training, logistics, supply chains and other topics.

The Presidents reviewed the implementation of measures that facilitate the flow of tourists and business executives between the two countries. They committed to work closely together to satisfy the requirements of the of the US Visa Waiver Program and Brazil's applicable legislation to enable US and Brazilian citizens visa free travel. They discussed the "Global Entry" pilot-program and praised the efforts of both governments to facilitate travel, to the benefit of their respective citizens. President Obama recalled his directive to accelerate the U.S. ability to process visas by 40 percent in Brazil this year as well as the Department of State's recent announcement of its intent to open new consulates in Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre.

They expressed their satisfaction with the advancement of a "Green-Lane" pilot-project on air cargo transportation, aimed at adopting a broad program of mutual recognition of authorized economic operators, to facilitate trade in goods between the two countries.

The Presidents welcomed the adoption of the Brazil-US Action Plan on Science and Technology Cooperation, which reflects the outcome of the March 2012 Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) on Science and Technology and highlighted the creation of a working group on innovation to explore the role of innovation in promoting competitiveness and job creation. The JCM also addressed cooperation in ocean science, technology and observation, disaster management, basic science, measurement standards, including for advanced biofuels, and the importance of access to Earth Observation data. They also welcomed the discussions during the III JCM on health, biomedicine and life sciences, women in science and nanotechnology.

The Leaders highlighted the importance of strengthening the bilateral space cooperation and instructed the appropriate agencies to examine the feasibility of developing joint space projects. They took note of the recent meeting in Brasilia of the Space Security Dialogue.

They highlighted the increasing importance of Internet and information and communication technologies (ICT)-related issues and the need to deepen discussion and expand cooperation between the U.S. and Brazil on issues so vital to their economies and societies. They noted with satisfaction the longstanding collaboration in those areas and welcomed the establishment of a new mechanism for consultations on issues such as Internet governance, Internet/ICT policy, and cyber security.

The Presidents spoke at length about global developments and welcomed the continued progress of the Global Partnership Dialogue (GPD). They welcomed the advancement of educational cooperation, scientific cooperation, and trilateral cooperation under the GPD. The Leaders noted their commitment to promote democracy, respect for human rights, cultural awareness, and social and economic inclusion around the world.

The Presidents 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. President Obama reaffirmed his appreciation for Brazil's aspiration to become a permanent member of the Security Council and acknowledged its assumption of global responsibilities. The two leaders pledged to continue consultation and cooperation between the two countries to achieve the vision outlined in the UN Charter of a more peaceful and secure world.

In exchanging views on recent challenges in Africa and the Middle East, the Presidents underscored the importance of cooperative efforts to bring about the sustainable settlement of disputes that contribute to peace and stability. They expressed their commitment to support, as a matter of urgency, comprehensive and lasting multilateral solutions to today's pressing global issues and crises.

The Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to government transparency and accountability, as well as citizen engagement as key to strengthening democracy, human rights, and good governance, and preventing corruption. They celebrated their joint launch of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in New York last September, praised the close collaboration between the two countries as co-chairs of the Partnership and discussed the upcoming OGP meeting in Brasilia, at which more than forty new countries will issue National Action Plans that include concrete new commitments on fighting corruption, promoting transparency, and harnessing new technologies to empower citizens.

President Obama congratulated President Rousseff on Brazil's Freedom of Information Act, and its regional and global leadership role in engaging civil society and attracting a diverse set of countries to the second major high-level meeting. President Rousseff also congratulated President Obama on the U.S. implementation of its OGP plan, including the recent launch of and the new Green Button initiative to ensure consumers have access to their own energy data.

The Leaders also reviewed and noted the progress of their countries' trilateral development cooperation in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa on issues ranging from food security, energy, agriculture, health, decent work, and humanitarian cooperation. They recalled their collaborative work and directed further efforts on trilateral food security cooperation. They welcomed the signing of an agreement on technical cooperation activities to improve food security in third countries.

They encouraged greater trilateral security cooperation and welcomed the recent launching of the pilot project for integrated monitoring system for surplus coca cultivation reduction in Bolivia.

The Presidents praised the cooperation fostered under the Joint Action Plan To Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality in the areas of health, environmental justice, access to justice, education, and entrepreneurship in sports megaevents. They noted that as their economies grow, it is important that the benefits accrue to all sectors, including children and aged people and historically marginalized sectors such as women, people of African descent, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, and LGBT people. They welcomed additional collaboration on LGBT issues in human rights multilateral fora. They also highlighted progress in bilateral cooperation for gender equality and advancement in the status of women, including efforts aimed at increasing women's political and economic participation in the fields of science and technology; as well as the prioritization of prevention and response to gender-based violence globally.

The Presidents reaffirmed the commitment of both countries to the conclusion of an effective international instrument in the World Intellectual Property Organization that ensures that copyright is not a barrier to equal access to information, culture, and education for visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities.

They expressed their satisfaction with the positive effect of the dialogue regarding the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction on the implementation of this instrument in Brazil and in the United States.

The Leaders expressed their support for the theme of the upcoming Summit of the Americas, "Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity", which focuses on the role of physical integration, regional cooperation, poverty and inequalities, citizen security, disasters, and access to technologies as a means to achieve greater levels of development and overcome challenges in the Americas.

The Heads of State discussed the importance of continued economic progress and political stability in Haiti, to include the formation of a new government and timely elections. They underlined the achievements of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and encouraged the Government of Haiti (GOH) to work toward strengthening governance and the rule of law. They further encouraged Haiti to continue to pursue the development of the Haitian National Police. To spur new public-private partnerships for Haiti's energy sector, the Leaders committed to working with the GOH on developing and implementing its national energy plan, including its plans to modernize Haiti's electric utility and harness renewable energy sources, like the Artibonite 4C hydroelectric plant, to power Haiti's future development.

The Presidents noted the launch of the Strategic Energy Dialogue (SED) with significant interagency collaboration of both countries. They underscored increased cooperation on oil and gas, biofuels, renewable energy and energy efficiency, science, and clean energy. Underscoring the importance of developing all of these key resources for global energy security, the Leaders directed their governments to seek greater opportunities to work with industry partners to help stabilize global oil and gas markets, increase access to energy, and enhance and promote the development and deployment of renewable, clean and low-carbon energy technologies.

The Leaders noted the importance of broader collaboration on oil and gas exploration; in particular the safe, clean, and efficient production of their countries' oil and gas reserves. They emphasized their commitment to provide opportunities that encourage companies to invest in production and to share their technology and their experience in ways that develop capacity in the oil and gas sector. They highlighted the importance of their governments and industries sharing information on best practices, including on unconventional gas development and through ongoing technical collaboration on deep-water oil and gas operations.

The Leaders committed to continue building on their countries' collaboration on bioenergy technology development and research, as well as sustainability; including for aviation biofuels and cooperation in third countries, such as Global Bioenergy Partnership capacity building in West Africa. They hailed the joint efforts that resulted in the conclusion of the first phase of viability studies for bioenergy production in third countries under the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding to Advance Cooperation on Biofuels.

The Presidents highlighted the importance of their regional cooperation on renewable energy through identification of potential financial resources from multilateral organizations. With regard to energy efficiency, they committed to support regional efforts to increase cooperation in the energy sector and further collaboration under the auspices of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas.

As part of the Presidential Dialogues, the Leaders directed the establishment of a Defense Cooperation Dialogue (DCD) and announced its first meeting on April 24 in Brazil. They noted the importance of the enhanced dialogue in enabling closer bilateral defense cooperation between their countries based on mutual respect and trust. They also observed the DCD will provide a forum for exchanging views and identifying opportunities for collaboration on defense issues around the globe.

They reiterated both countries' strong resolve to support international efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear security, and disarmament, aiming to achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. In this regard, they expressed support for the review cycle of the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and the goals identified in the Action Plan adopted by the VIII NPT Review Conference, which includes the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the beginning of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other explosive purposes, and related initiatives. They decided to intensify bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the field of physical protection and nuclear safety, as well as the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Note: The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Portuguese transcript of this joint statement. An original was not available for verification of the content of this joint statement.

Barack Obama, Joint Statement by President Obama and President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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