Regional and multilateral agenda
Fourth BRICS Summit
The Fourth BRICS Summit, the group that brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, was held in India on March 28 and 29. On the occasion, major issues on the international political and economic agenda were addressed.
The BRICS remain the dynamic element of the global economy and will account for over half of the global GDP growth in 2012. The remarkable expansion of intra-BRICS trade, which increased from US$ 27 billion in 2002 to an estimated US$ 250 billion in 2011, is one of the pillars of that dynamism. Another pillar will be the establishment of the South-South Development Bank, for investment in productive and infrastructure projects in emerging and developing countries.
Leaders of the group’s countries met again during the G20 Summit on June 18. On the occasion, it was concluded that the international crisis, due to its gravity, requires stronger financial cooperation among the five countries. The leaders also decided to proceed along two paths: the establishment of a pool of international reserves, which can be accessed by any of the BRICS countries in difficult times, and the negotiation of bilateral currency swap agreements, which can serve as additional financial protection.
Seventh G20 Summit
Brazil participated in the Seventh G20 Summit held in Los Cabos (Mexico) on June 18-19. The meeting was marked by the discussion of policies for the economic recovery of the regions most affected by the global financial crisis resulting from the deterioration of the situation in the Euro zone. Brazil stressed the importance of developed countries to adopt measures to stimulate economic growth, as well as of renewed efforts by European countries to overcome the difficulties of the banking sector and public finance in the region. The Leaders’ Declaration recorded the commitment of European countries to these measures, in search of stability and recovery of the region. The Summit also pointed out the need to adopt public policies to create quality employment and jobs for youth.
Brazil announced its willingness to contribute with US$ 10 billion within the package of new resources to the IMF, aimed to help countries seriously affected by the possible worsening of the international economic situation. With this, Brazil shows its willingness to assume new responsibilities in managing the international financial system, while discussions for further reform of the IMF quota system proceed, in order to broaden the participation of developing countries in decision- -making processes of the organization.
Another topic of interest to Brazil in which the Summit reported progress was financial regulation, an area in which international harmonization efforts proceed with a view to ensuring sounder financial sectors and reduce the risk of global financial crisis.
Several countries, including Brazil, joined a new process for exchanging experience in the area of financial inclusion.
Also assessed was the progress of initiatives proposed by the G20 and developed within the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the areas of transparency in agricultural markets, rapid response to food emergencies, and development of tropical agriculture, all of great interest to developing countries.
Bilateral meetings with the President of Argentina, the Prime Minister of Italy, the German Federal Chancellor and the President of Russia were held on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.
Fourth Summit of the Americas
The Fourth Summit of the Americas was held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on April 14-15. On the occasion the following priority topics for the region were discussed:
• Fight against poverty and inequality;
• Regional physical integration;
• Management and mitigation of risk of natural disasters;
• Access to and use of technology;
• Promotion of security and citizenship and fight against transnational organized crime, particularly drug trafficking.
The topic that monopolized the discussions, however, was Cuba’s participation in upcoming editions of the Summit of the Americas.
Brazil supported the position, shared by all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, that the Cartagena Summit should be the last one without the participation of all countries in the region.
Summit of Mercosur and Unasur Presidents
The political situation in Paraguay marked the 43rd Mercosur Summit held in Mendoza, Argentina, on June 29. On the occasion, the Presidents of Mercosur State Parties and Associate States decided to suspend Paraguay’s right to participate in bloc’s bodies. The decision was based on the Ushuaia Protocol on Democratic Commitment within Mercosur, signed in 1998 and in force since 2005.
To avoid damage to the Paraguayan people, no economic sanction was applied. For example, the bloc decided to maintain the various projects of the Mercosur Structural Convergence Fund (FOCEM) in Paraguay, in areas such as, inter alia, housing, access to electricity, and sanitation.
Another important outcome of the Mendoza Summit was Venezuela’s accession to Mercosur.
A decision similar to that of Mercosur was made by Unasur member countries, which decided to suspend the rights of Paraguay to participate in the bodies and forums of the organization.
15th Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
On May 4, Brazil participated as a special guest in the 15th Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations of the Caribbean Community (COFCOR-CARICOM), reinforcing the mutual commitment to strengthen ties between Brazil and the Caribbean. Participants in the meeting emphasized cooperation in the areas of food security, family agriculture, and social development.
Established in 1973, the Caribbean Community has 15 member countries.
Situation in Syria
Brazil has worked internationally to develop a political solution to the crisis in Syria. Among the major initiatives are:
• Endorsement of the Peace Plan presented by the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, Kofi Annan.
• Deployment of 11 Brazilian military officers to join the UN Supervision Mission to Syria (UNSMIS), established on April 21, 2012.
• Support for the convening of the special session of the UN Human Rights Council held on June 1st, which approved the resolution condemning the deterioration of the human rights situation in Syria.
• Support for the conduction of an independent process for the investigation, by the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, coordinated by a Brazilian citizen, of crimes occurring on Syrian territory.
Situation in Guinea-Bissau
Brazil has contributed actively to international efforts to restore constitutional order in Guinea- -Bissau, in view of the political-institutional crisis triggered by the coup occurred on April 12. The Brazilian government has sought to act in a coordinated manner with the various relevant actors, in particular the UN, the African Union, the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
On June 7, Brazil attended the Meeting of the International Contact Group on Guinea-Bissau, in Ivory Coast, co-chaired by CPLP and ECOWAS.
Election to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
The 42nd OAS General Assembly held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, elected on June 5 Brazil’s candidate for the position of judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.