On 25th February 2015, the Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, welcomed the Foreign Minister of the Federative Republic of Brazil, H. E. Ambassador Mauro Vieira, on his first visit to the United Kingdom as Foreign Minister. Recognising that 2015 will be a year of enormous international challenges and opportunities, the two foreign ministers committed to continue the strong and open partnership between the UK and Brazil which since the UK’s launch of the Canning Agenda in 2010 has gone from strength to strength. The two foreign ministers discussed strategic global, bilateral and trade issues.
The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister reiterated their firm commitment to achieving progress in UN/UNSC reform, particularly in this year which is the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the UN. Minister Vieira expressed appreciation for the Foreign Secretary’s reiteration of the UK support to a permanent seat for Brazil in a reformed Security Council. They also reflected on the threats to global security which have emerged or developed since last year's UK-Brazil Strategic Dialogue, demonstrating the continued importance of the two countries working together, with other international partners. The two foreign ministers also discussed the situation in Ukraine as well as in the Middle East, exchanging views on the Israel-Palestine conflict and the threat posed by ISIL/Daesh. They expressed deep concern with the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria and its neighbouring countries and condemned the violation of human rights by all parties involved, agreeing that actions against such threats must be compatible with the UN Charter and other applicable international norms. The Foreign Secretary discussed Iran, and both Ministers agreed on the importance of the on-going negotiating process.
Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
The UK and Brazil are both committed to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister agreed upon the importance of upholding legitimate multilateral processes to ensure a balanced international focus on disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. They committed to both countries working together for a positive outcome for the upcoming Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Post-2015 Development Agenda
The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister agreed that the UK and Brazil should work together to achieve an inspiring and transformational post-2015 sustainable development framework. Both countries are committed to a framework which includes an effective means to implement the agenda, covering both financial and non-finance issues. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister emphasised that a renewed commitment by developed countries to the 0.7% ODA/GNI is vital to this agenda and encouraged countries in a position to do so to strengthen South-South cooperation. Brazil and the UK will work towards promoting effective international and national action in all countries.
The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister reaffirmed their shared positions on climate change, in particular the need to achieve a successful agreement under the UNFCCC at COP21 in Paris. The UK and Brazil will build on the ‘Lima Call for Climate Action’ to reach an equitable, ambitious and legally binding agreement in 2015, that reflects the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances, and addresses all the elements listed in the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action in a balanced manner. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister recognised their countries' achievements to date and highlighted the importance of maintaining domestic ambition post-2020. In this context, the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister highlighted the extensive UK-Brazil bilateral cooperation on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
EU-Mercosul Free Trade Agreement
An EU-Mercosul Free Trade Agreement would be of substantial benefit to both the EU and Mercosul economies. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister, recognising this, underlined their strong commitment to the Agreement, reiterating the supportive position of both the UK and Brazil. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister committed to further joint efforts towards a balanced, comprehensive and ambitious agreement, with the aim of concluding negotiations as soon as possible, so the benefits of the agreement can be realised.
Education, Science and Innovation
The UK and Brazil enjoy a strong and long lasting partnership in the fields of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister reflected on the growth in strength of cooperation between British and Brazilian research and technological development partners in recent years, with support especially from Brazil's ambitious Science without Borders Programme and the UK-Brazil Newton Fund.
The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister committed to work together to build upon the success of Science without Borders (SwB), through which 10,000 talented Brazilian scholars and researchers will have studied in UK universities by the end of 2015. Under the second phase of the programme, the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister committed to more Brazilian scholars and researchers coming to the UK, and more UK researchers travelling to Brazil. They also agreed to support the provision of more internships and on-the-job training in British firms for Brazilian students enrolled in the SwB programme. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Ministers also committed to a mutually beneficial long-term partnership in education, research and innovation. This will build upon the success of the UK's Newton Fund with Brazil, which has seen the two countries commit to invest £9 million a year each to deepen research, excellence and collaboration in Brazil. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister highlighted the opportunity the Newton Fund represents for novel UK-Brazil pockets of excellence in research.
The UK and Brazil both play leading roles in driving the international agenda on cyber policy. In reflecting upon this, the opportunities to be derived from information and communications technologies and the increasing cyber threats both countries face, the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister agreed that the UK and Brazil would seek to hold a future dialogue about such issues, with the timing and agenda to be decided in light of circumstances. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister reiterated their shared commitment to a free, open and secure Internet, in which the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, including in line with UN General Assembly resolution 69/166 on ‘The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age’.
The UK and Brazil are both committed to the promotion and protection of Human Rights across the globe. In recognition of the importance of international action on Human Rights the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister agreed to continue to exchange views on global human rights priorities. They agreed to continue to consult regularly, for example ahead of sessions of the UN Human Rights Council, UN General Assembly Third Committee and other relevant multilateral fora. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister expressed their deep concern at the continued application of the capital punishment and agreed to continue working towards a global moratorium on the death penalty.
Nutrition and Development
The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister recognised the efforts undertaken by the UK and Brazil to increase international attention and resources to address the multiple burden of malnutrition globally. They recalled the successful Nutrition for Growth event, held in London in June of 2013, which was co-hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron and Vice-President Michel Temer and endorsed the Nutrition for Growth Compact. Brazil has committed to hosting a follow-up high-level nutrition event on the occasion of the 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro. The Foreign Secretary noted Brazil’s leadership role, the experience it has to share from its success in tackling undernutrition over the last decade and how it is seen as an example by many African countries. Both countries are working together and in partnership with other governments, international organisations and civil society groups to ensure a successful Nutrition for Growth follow-up event in Rio and the delivery of the Nutrition for Growth Compact goals.
Reflecting on the significant role both the UK and Brazil have played to date in the fight to tackle Ebola, the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister stressed the importance of continued international support to completely eradicate the disease and then to support the three affected countries in their recovery from Ebola. They also agreed to help ensure preparedness in other countries in the region, and to put in place mechanisms to respond more effectively to similar health threats in future.
Olympic and Paralympic Games
As consecutive hosts for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the UK and Brazil have enjoyed a strong relationship since 2012 and in the run up to Rio 2016. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister reiterated the importance of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to further the bilateral relationship between the two countries. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister agreed to establish a further exchange between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with hosting a large number of visitors from around the globe – spectators, officials, members of the Olympic Family and dignitaries – and using the opportunity presented by the Olympic and Paralympic Games to promote Brazil to the world.