The Fifth Meeting of the Brazil-UK High-Level Strategic Dialogue was held on 7 October 2020 by videoconference. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Ernesto Araújo, and the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, Dominic Raab, agreed that this dialogue marked the beginning of a new phase in the alliance of their countries founded on friendship, a shared commitment to democratic values, freedom and the market economy. They undertook a broad review of issues on the bilateral agenda, such as economy and trade, cooperation in health, science and technology, the environment and their partnership for development
Brazil and the UK reviewed regional and international issues, in the context of the unprecedented challenges faced by the international community to alleviate the health and socio-economic effects of the pandemic. The ministers held in-depth discussions on economy and trade, peace and security, the environment, international cooperation and cybersecurity.
Brazil and the United Kingdom agreed that firm action is needed to promote the recovery of the global economy in the post-pandemic period, based on building more sustainable, resilient economies. Both countries reaffirmed their mutual commitment to strengthen the multilateral trading system, which is essential for promoting investment, increasing productivity and integrating economies into global supply chains. The United Kingdom reiterated its firm and active support for Brazil’s accession to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including through the UK’s Prosperity Fund and will look to strengthen this further.
Both parties underscored the potential for growth of bilateral trade and reaffirmed its importance as a driver of economic development and sustainable growth. They agreed to strengthen trading arrangements, including by considering to open soon the negotiations on a Double Taxation Agreement, and accelerating preparations for a future free trade agreement. The UK and Brazil are important trade partners and the UK is a traditional source of investment for development in Brazil.
With a view to enhancing bilateral trade parties agreed to intensify activities of the Joint Economic and Trade Committee Brazil-United Kingdom (JETCO) focusing on concrete trade facilitation measures, as well as establish a Joint Agricultural Committee (JAC) to deal with sanitary and phytosanitary standards and other issues. They also reviewed Brazil’s Investment Partnerships Programme (PPI), a model for strengthening the interaction between the state and the private sector, and identified investment opportunities aimed at industrial and technological development.
Both countries agreed on the importance of the rules based international system, and stressed that multilateral fora should support effective coordination amongst sovereign nations to ensure peaceful international cooperation. They agreed that the defence and promotion of fundamental freedoms, which are essential for human dignity, should be at the centre of international and multilateral efforts.
They reiterated their firm commitment to advance the reform of the United Nations and its Security Council. Brazil thanked the United Kingdom for its support of the Brazilian claim for a permanent seat in a reformed and expanded Security Council.
Brazil and the United Kingdom committed to further developing our partnership on international cooperation efforts. Both sides reiterated their intention to jointly support African countries under the Brazil-United Kingdom Partnership for Global Development, an innovative initiative of cooperation aimed at promoting policies to reduce poverty, eradicate hunger, fight social inequalities and overcome the challenges of socioeconomic development in the world. They agreed on the first two areas of work to be piloted in the coming year: data for managing demographic change; and agriculture market transformation for crisis recovery.
The parties agreed to work together towards a successful outcome at the negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, scheduled for the 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021. Both countries affirmed they would work to ensure that the COP delivers substantial negotiated outcomes in the fight against climate change. Both countries underlined the crucial importance of strengthening financing and the means of implementation, which is why these topics are among key priorities for cooperation at COP26. Both countries reiterated their international commitments in the field of climate change under the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. Brazil explained its current efforts to reduce illegal deforestation, the sustainability of Brazilian agribusiness and stressed its interest in financing for sustainable projects capable of generating jobs and opportunities especially for the people in the Amazon region. The UK explained its efforts to promote renewable energy and reduce reliance on fossil fuels, as part of the UK’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and reaffirmed its commitment to further support Brazil to develop green jobs and sustainable land use noting the crucial importance of combating illegal deforestation.
Brazil and the United Kingdom reaffirmed their commitment to champion shared values together. They agreed to promote freedom of religion actively and to tackle religious persecution around the world, including through the work of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance and new projects. They also agreed to work together on preventing violence against women and girls, combatting online child sexual abuse and exploitation, and promoting freedom of expression, especially for journalists and media workers.
Both countries conveyed their grave concern about the political crisis in Venezuela and its economic, social and humanitarian repercussions, in particular the very serious abuse of human rights. They urged the international community to mobilise for the reinstatement of democratic institutions in the country. In reiterating their support for the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela, both sides condemned Maduro’s illegitimate regime for the perpetration of crimes against humanity, such as torture.
Brazil and the United Kingdom welcomed developments in bilateral cooperation in health this year, including in the development of a vaccine against COVID-19 by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, which will allow for the production of the vaccine in Brazil by Fiocruz/Bio-Manguinhos. They stressed that such cooperation will be further developed within the framework of the COVAX Facility.
Both sides agreed to strengthen security cooperation to counter regional and international threats. The ministers welcomed the deepening bilateral collaboration regarding the use of artificial intelligence, data protection, digital economy and digital access, implementation of the 5G network and cybersecurity, including through the upcoming Dig-ital and Cyber Security Dialogue, which Brazil and the UK plan to hold in the first semester of 2021.
Both sides committed to expand bilateral cooperation on science and innovation. Brazil and the United Kingdom committed to set up a Joint Committee on Science and Innovation, with government actors, representatives of financing agencies and research institutions, in order to explore an action plan for the next five years.
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