On 18 January 2012 the Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota received British Foreign Secretary William Hague for the inaugural UK-Brazil Strategic Dialogue – an upgraded mechanism for foreign policy and bilateral discussions between the two countries, reflecting the new momentum in the relationship.
The Brazilian side welcomed the United Kingdom´s increased diplomatic presence in Brazil, including a new Consulate-General in Recife, opened in November 2011.
During the Strategic Dialogue the two governments held wide-ranging discussions and mapped out areas for co-operation for the coming four years, and the range of bilateral mechanisms the UK and Brazil have at their disposition in order to deliver this co-operation. The two sides committed to developing an enhanced foreign policy relationship.
UN Security Council
Brazil and the UK strongly support an expansion of the UN Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories. The Foreign Secretary William Hague reiterated UK support for Brazil as a permanent member of a reformed UN Security Council.
Middle East and North Africa
The two Foreign Ministers expressed their support for legitimate claims for more political participation, greater economic opportunities, dignity and social justice in the region. Both countries condemned the use of violence against civilian populations and unarmed protesters. They expressed their hope that governments will respond to popular demands for political and socio-economic reforms through political processes that are nationally-owned, all inclusive, transparent and peaceful, aimed at effectively addressing the legitimate aspirations and concerns of societies, in full respect of human rights. Brazil and the UK highlighted the importance of efforts by the international community, including those of the United Nations, the Arab League and other regional bodies, towards helping address the current challenges in a manner fully consistent with international law.
The two Foreign Ministers expressed their deep concern at the current situation in Syria and called for an immediate end to violence. They emphasized the need for full respect for human rights and firm commitment to dialogue. They stressed that a peaceful political process is essential to resolve the ongoing crisis. Both countries supported the important efforts of the Arab League in seeking an end to the crisis.
The two Foreign Ministers underlined the need for a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Brazil and the UK will continue to work actively to help turn this ambition into reality: the creation of a sovereign, independent, democratic, contiguous and economically viable Palestinian State, within the 1967 borders, living side by side with Israel in peace and security.
Disarmament and non-proliferation
Brazil and the UK stressed the importance of promoting nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The two Foreign Ministers agreed to explore ways to work together on further building trust and confidence between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states, as an essential step towards progress on multilateral disarmament, working together to achieve positive outcomes to the 2012 NPT Preparatory Committee. Brazil and the UK will continue to work together on crucial agendas including the next Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul in March this year. The two Foreign Ministers underlined the importance of the 2012 Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.
Global Development Aid
Brazil and the UK reiterated their shared commitment to eradicating global poverty and hunger and promoting inclusive growth and recognised Brazil´s strong domestic record in reducing poverty and hunger. The two Foreign Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to improving food security, including through the sharing of expertise and closer cooperation. Both sides reiterated the importance of south-south and trilateral cooperation with low income countries to share best practice. They welcomed the outcome of the High Level Forum at Busan and looked forward to working together on implementation as part of the new Global Partnership. The UK and Brazil emphasised the importance of progress in areas such as trade and investment and climate change , in successfully eradicating poverty worldwide.
Brazil and the UK believe that the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as part of the democratic values of our two countries, must remain a key part of our foreign policy dialogue in the years ahead.
Defence and Security
The two ministers reaffirmed the ambitions set out in the UK-Brazil Defence Cooperation Treaty, signed in 2010, which will see closer cooperation between the two countries on security challenges. And recognising that transnational criminal activities negatively affects the security and prosperity of Brazil and the UK, the two Ministers agreed under the Memorandum of Understanding on Security and Crime, in accordance with their respective constitutional order and national legislation, to further enhance bilateral security co-operation, including in the fields of narco-trafficking, cyber security, border security and security for major events.
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
The UK and Brazil pledged to work together towards a successful United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June this year. The Ministers agreed on the importance of assuring representation at the highest possible level and underlined the convenience brought upon by the new dates of the Conference.
Climate Change, Environment and Sustainable Development
The Ministers welcomed the effective cooperation between our delegations at the Nagoya biodiversity conference in 2010 and the Durban climate change meeting in 2011, and look forward to continuing this successful partnership in the run up to the Hyderabad Biodiversity Conference and the Doha Climate Change Conference, both in 2012.
Open Government Partnership
With the UK joining Brazil as co-chair of the partnership from April, the UK and Brazil will work closely together to ensure a successful Ministerial meeting in Brasilia in April this year, while delivering their own OGP action plans as a demonstration of the benefits of open government.
Brazil and the UK will continue to promote greater bilateral trade and investment between the UK and Brazil and reaffirmed their commitment to avoid protectionism. They strongly support a balanced and ambitious Association Agreement between Mercosul and the EU. The two Foreign Ministers welcomed the positive contribution made by the Joint Economic and Trade Committee meetings, and looked forward to the first meeting of the bilateral CEOs´ Forum later this year.
Science, Technology, Innovation and Education
Acknowledging the ambition and vision of President Rousseff´s ‘Science Without Borders´ programme, the UK committed itself to welcoming as many as 10,000 Brazilian students and researchers to 77 UK institutions until 2014. Following the establishment of the Working Group during the Brazil-UK Round Table on Partnerships in Higher Education, in June 2011, the two countries have agreed that up to 2,500 Brazilian students will carry undergraduate and postgraduate studies in British universities in 2012, with scholarships granted by the Brazilian government. Such partnership will strengthen the academic cooperation between the two countries and provide a valuable input for the Brazilian scientific and economic development. British researchers and scholars are also expected to come to Brazil within the scope of the “Science without Borders” programme. Brazil welcomed the recent announcement of a substantial research and development (R&D) British private investment in the oil and gas sector, which will allow for the spearheading of innovation in key scientific and research areas. Brazil and the UK also agreed in fostering further innovation and R&D joint activities in key economic, knowledge-intensive sectors, such as biotechnology, life sciences and creative industries.
Brazil and the United Kingdom are honoured to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2012 and 2016. The two Foreign Ministers recognised the strong cooperation already under way as a result of the bilateral agreements signed in 2009 and 2010. This will continue under a coordinated programme focused on planning, sustainability, security, accessibility and legacy development.
The two Foreign Ministers underlined the importance of culture in the bilateral relationship. They recognised the unique opportunities presented by our hosting of the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and their willingness to build new and lasting partnerships between the UK and Brazil in the field of culture. They looked forward to the events of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad in UK, including Casa Brasil in London, and to UKBrasil running from September 2012 to March 2013 across Brazil, showcasing the best of the UK in culture, education, science and business.