President Obama Meets With President Rousseff of Brazil

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 19, 2011
President Barack Obama Listens to U.S. National Anthem With President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil

President Barack Obama met with President Dilma Rousseff at the Palacio do Planalto in Brasilia, Brazil on March 19, 2011. President Obama and President Rousseff discussed the many areas of cooperation and partnership between Brazil and the United States. The two countries are working together to help Haiti rebuild, address the situation in Libya, promote trade and investment, and expand collaborations in science and technology. Following their meeting, President Obama said:

"...In our meeting today I mentioned that this is my first visit to South America and Brazil is my first stop. This is no coincidence. The friendship between the people of the United States and Brazil spans nearly two centuries. Our entrepreneurs and businesses innovate together. Our scientists and researchers are pioneering new vaccines. Our students and teachers explore new horizons. And every day, we're working to make our societies more inclusive and more just.

"Brazil's extraordinary rise, Madam President, has captured the attention of the world. Because of the sacrifices of people like President Rousseff, Brazil moved from dictatorship to democracy. As one of the world's fastest-growing economies, Brazil has lifted tens of millions from poverty into a growing middle class.

"Today, the United States and Brazil are the hemisphere's two largest democracies and the two largest economies. Brazil is a regional leader promoting greater cooperation across the Americas and, increasingly, Brazil is a global leader, a world leader, going from a recipient of foreign aid to a donor nation, pointing the way to a world without nuclear weapons and being in the forefront of global efforts to confront climate change.

"As President, I've pursued engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect. And a key part of this engagement is forging deeper cooperation with 21st century centers of influence, including Brazil. Put simply, the United States doesn't simply recognize Brazil's rise we support it enthusiastically.

"And that's why we've made the G20 the world's premier forum of global economic cooperation, to make sure that nations like Brazil have a greater voice. That's why we've worked to increase Brazil's vote and role at international financial institutions, and it is why I've come to Brazil today.

"President Rousseff and I both believe that this visit is a historic opportunity to put the United States and Brazil on a path towards even greater cooperation for decades to come. And today, we're starting to seize that opportunity.

"Madam President, I want to thank you for your strong personal commitment to strengthening the ties between our two nations. We're expanding trade and investment that create jobs in both our countries. Brazil is one of our largest trading partners, but there's still so much more that we can do.

"Later today the President and I will be meeting with business leaders from our two countries to listen and find very concrete steps that we can take to expand our relationship economically. We'll be announcing a series of new agreements, including a new economic and financial dialogue to promote trade, streamline regulations and expand collaborations in science and technology.

"And as Brazil prepares to host the World Cup and the Summer Olympics -- which still hurts for me to say -- (laughter) -- we're ensuring that American companies can play a role in the many infrastructure projects needed for these games.

"We're creating a new strategic energy dialogue to make sure that the highest levels of our governments are working together to seize new opportunities. In particular, with the new oil finds off Brazil, President Rousseff has said that Brazil wants to be a major supplier of new stable sources of energy, and I've told her that the United States wants to be a major customer, which would be a win-win for both our countries.

"At the same time, we're expanding our clean energy partnership that's vital to our long-term energy security. As a leader in renewable energy, such as biofuels, and as part of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas that I proposed, Brazil is sharing its expertise around the region and around the world. And the new green economy dialogue that we're creating today will deepen our cooperation even further, in green buildings and sustainable development.

"On the security front, our militaries are working more closely to respond to humanitarian crises, as we did together in Haiti. Our law enforcement communities are partnering against the narco-traffickers who threaten all of us. Brazil is joining the international effort to prevent nuclear smuggling through ports.

"I thanked President Rousseff for Brazil's leadership towards establishing a new regional center to promote excellence in nuclear security. And as a member of the Human Rights Council, Brazil joined with us in condemning human rights abuses by Libya.

"I want to briefly mention the situation in Libya, because this is something that I've discussed with the President. Yesterday, the international community demanded an immediate cease-fire in Libya, including an end to all attacks against civilians. Today Secretary Clinton joined an international coalition of our European and Arab partners in Paris to discuss how we will enforce U.S. Security Council Resolution 1973.

"Our consensus was strong and our resolve is clear: The people of Libya must be protected. And in the absence of an immediate end to the violence against civilians, our coalition is prepared to act, and act with urgency. And I am briefing President Rousseff on the steps that we are taking.

"Finally, I'm especially pleased that the United States and Brazil are joining together to advance development and democratic governance beyond our hemisphere. Brazil is helping lead the global initiative I announced at the United Nations last year to promote open government and new technologies that empower citizens around the world. Today we're launching new efforts to help other countries combat corruption and prevent child labor, and we're expanding our efforts to promote food security and agricultural development in Africa.

"I believe this is just the beginning of what our two countries can do together in the world. That's why the United States will continue our efforts to make sure that the new realities of the 21st century are reflected in international institutions, as Madam President mentioned, including the United Nations, where Brazil aspires to a seat on the Security Council.

"As I told President Rousseff, the United States is going to keep working with Brazil and other nations on reforms that make the Security Council more effective, more efficient, more representative, and advance our shared vision of a more secure and peaceful world.

"So, again, with today's progress, I believe we've laid the foundation for greater cooperation between the United States and Brazil for decades to come. I want to thank President Rousseff for her leadership, for making this progress possible. I had not known Madam President long, but I can tell in speaking to her, the extraordinary passion she has for providing opportunity for all the people of Brazil, lifting everyone up. And that's a passion I share with respect to my citizens in the United States -- my fellow citizens in the United States of America.

"So I am confident that given this shared spirit, this camaraderie that exists not only at our levels but among our peoples, that we are going to continue to make progress for a long time to come."

You can read President Obama's full remarks with President Rousseff here.



March 21, 2011

Jill in Chile writes:

Hopefully Obama and Rousseff also discuss the preservation of the Amazon forest because it is definitely a climate change issue.

Rhode Island, USA
March 22, 2011

Rose in Rhode Island writes:

I want to point out that Brazil has strong relations with China. So the U.S. needs to be careful.


Latest Stories