Synching Up With Brazilian Youth Leaders

January 1, 2010
Assistant Secretary Valenzuela Meets With Brazilian Youth

About the Author: Arturo A. Valenzuela serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

As part of my trip through the Southern Cone December 12-20, I visited Brasilia and Sao Paulo for a series of meetings with government officials and representatives of the private sector and civil society. It was a great opportunity for candid discussion of the bilateral relationship with so many of the actors who shape it. We talked about issues like confidence building measures, regional conflicts, citizen safety, and ways to strengthen the ties between our two societies. I was struck in our conversations by how many fundamental priorities our peoples have in common. These lead to similar views on many key issues in the hemisphere and in the world.

One encounter really stands out. In fact, I’d say it was a highlight of this trip. I was able to meet with nine talented young Brazilians who are part of some programs the State Department supports, including the Youth Ambassadors program, the Student Leader Exchange, and the English Immersion program. These bright young leaders asked important questions. They were interested, of course, in the Obama Administration’s approach to U.S.-Brazil relations. But their questions went right to the heart of the issues and challenges that our societies face in this rapidly changing 21st century.

I remember one young man in particular, Pedro Henrique Torres, a 2008 Youth Ambassador, who noted how interesting it was to see “how diplomacy engages youth.” I was very impressed by that observation, particularly because this Administration is committed to finding new ways to generate real dialogue with youth in Brazil and throughout the hemisphere.

So, I want to thank Pedro and the other students for their insights and ideas. I have carried them with me to Washington and will keep them in mind as we think through ways our policies can further the sort of common interests I sensed on my trip. Obrigado Brasilia!

You can check out pictures from my meetings with these Brazilian youth leaders on U.S. Embassy Brasilia’s Flickr stream.

Read Assistant Secretary Valenzuela's previous entry and stay tuned @WHAAsstSecty.



Tom D.
New Jersey, USA
January 1, 2010

Tom D. in New Jersey writes:

What a marvelous opportunity for Secretary Valenzuela to discuss issues of mutual interest with present and future leaders of Brazil. I respectfully submit that one of the most important of those issues is the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, particularly on reciprocity among all signatory nations. The recent ruling of the chief justice of Brazil's Supreme Court in the case of Sean Goldman highlights the need for fundamental reform in how Brazil deals with its obligations under the treaty. The US State Dept must not allow this opportunity to just fade away as there are many more children and left behind parents who are in a daily struggle to have their rights protected in a just manner.

Unfortunately, this issue has not received the attention it deserves, due to lack of education of both judges and government officials, and sometimes to ineptitude and corruption of those charged with upholding the obligations inherent in international treaties. This is something that can be remedied if our governments are willing to make the efforts. I urge Secretary Valenzuela to use all available resources of his office to keep this issue moving toward an acceptable resolution as soon as possible.

New York, USA
January 3, 2010

Ron in New York writes:

Brazil Sponsors the 12th UN Crime Congress
April 2010 in Salvador:

The New Decade will see challenges in Global Organized Crime, Finance of Terrorism, and opportunistic Crimes in the context of Global financial and political instability. The Brazil Conference Report should highlight the
link between Global Crimes, Corruption, and Terrorism; with a committment to attack these threats in a coordinated way.

South Korea
January 21, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

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Like this problem is piled up repeatedly and recently what the description below almost being not right comes to be skillful thinks the thing.
Thinks is active to approached to an impossibility almost. Thinks that also the minimum private life is difficult. When the possibility of receiving a help is receives.


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