William Hague oversees signing of partnership agreement with Brazil

18 February, 2014

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today by Ambassador Sérgio Eduardo Moreira Lima, President of The Fundação Alexandre de Gusmão of the Federative Republic of Brazil (FUNAG), and Wilton Park, represented by the British Ambassador to Brazil, Alex Ellis.

The MoU launches a joint agreement for establishing a long term relationship between Wilton Park and FUNAG, with the aim of promoting and enhancing friendship and mutual understanding between the Federative Republic of Brazil and the United Kingdom.

The Rt Hon William Hague was present at the signing, as part of his visit to Brazil this week. The Foreign Secretary’s agenda includes the third Strategic Dialogue with the Brazilian Foreign Minister; they are to discuss international security issues, human rights, cyber and internet governance, commercial opportunities, international development and progress on the EU-Mercosul free trade agreement.

The MoU is in recognition of this UK-Brazil Strategic Dialogue that was established in 2012 between President Dilma Rousseff and Prime Minister David Cameron. The Strategic Dialogues cement the two countries’ agreement to annual meetings between their Foreign Ministers. Within the joint press communiqué between Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota and Foreign Secretary William Hague in 2012, it was stated that the “two sides committed to developing an enhanced foreign policy relationship.”

The MoU provides for cooperation between the two organisations in a number of key areas, including global governance, peace and international security, sustainable development, climate change, social development and eradication of poverty, human rights, democracy, conflict resolution, and trade and investment.

Wilton Park has held two conferences in Brazil, both of which concentrated on Brazilian issues and perspectives. The first was in 2003, where participants discussed Brazil’s social, economic and political challenges in the international system. The second in 2013, was the sixth roundtable meeting in our public diplomacy series and concentrated on the Brazilian and British perspectives in applying soft power. The Brazilian Minister for Culture, Marta Suplicy, was the keynote speaker at this event, and opened the round table in Sao Paulo.

Brazilian participation at Wilton Park events has steadily increased over the last five years, and with the MoU signing today, we look forward to a stronger and more established relationship with FUNAG, and more broadly, Brazil and South America. It gives Wilton Park a new opportunity to look at some of the issues affecting the region, and will combine our traditional powers of convening British and Brazilian experts on such issues. The newfound relationship with FUNAG will no doubt contribute greatly to new dialogues.

This partnership follows similar agreements between Wilton Park and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Egypt and the Republic of Indonesia, highlighting our commitment to the pursuit of inclusive strategic dialogues across the world. All our bilateral agreements provide the basis for a set of conferences based both here in West Sussex as well as in the region.

During his visit this week, the Foreign Secretary will also open an event at the Rio Branco Institute on the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI). In 2012, Mr Hague gave the keynote address at the Wilton Park conference on Preventing sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations  which was attended by Special Envoy to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie.

Further information

News: FUNAG and Wilton Park sign agreement during visit of British Secretary of State

News: British Foreign Secretary William Hague visits Brazil

FCO Announcement: UK and Brazil commit to developing enhanced foreign policy relationship

Conference: Applying soft power: the Brazilian and British perspectives

Conference: Preventing sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations

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