Canada, Brazil to Cooperate on Space, S&T and Education

Canadian Prime Minister held talks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during a state visit to the South American nation this week. The leaders agreed to cooperate in a broad range of areas, including space exploration, science and technology, and educational exchanges.

An excerpt from the official joint statement statement follows, with the full statement reproduced after it:

They affirmed their desire to initiate a Space Cooperation Dialogue and instructed the appropriate agencies and institutions in the two countries to explore possible avenues for cooperation in the use of outer space for peaceful purposes.

They signaled the strategic importance of the newly established Canada Brazil Joint Committee for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation. They agreed on the development of an Action Plan focusing on the research, development and commercialization of joint projects in biotechnology and life sciences, ocean technology, information and communication technology, clean energy, green technologies, and nanotechnology. They expressed their support for the organization of the “Brazil-Canada 3.0 Conference”, in 2012, gathering government officials, researchers and private sector representatives related to the information and communication technology sector.

The leaders underlined the vital contribution of education and innovation to enable both nations to rise to the challenge of globalization in the 21st century, particularly in the realms of job creation and competitiveness. They were pleased by the first results of the Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Cooperation and Academic Mobility, signed in August 2010, recommended enhancing the links between educational institutions from both countries and agreed that both countries should work on an Action Plan to streamline and enhance bilateral educational cooperation, encouraging additional contributions by the private sector.

Prime Minister Harper took note of President Rousseff’s recent announcement of the “Ciência Sem Fronteiras” (Science without Frontiers) program, which entails 100,000 scholarships for Brazilian students to study abroad, with a focus on engineering, medicine and technology, among others. He looked forward to welcoming Brazilian students who wish to take advantage of Canada’s high quality education programs and research excellence. Prime Minister Harper agreed that more Canadian students should also take advantage of opportunities to study in Brazil. He also noted that an important delegation of Canada university presidents would attend the second Conference in Education in the Americas, to be hosted in Brazil next April.

Brazil is interested in launching Canadian satellites from its equatorial Alcantara spaceport aboard the VLS-1 and Cyclone rockets, which should be operational within the next two years. The two nations are also looking at a range of collaborative space activities involving the Canadian and Brazilian space agencies.

The Science Without Frontiers program is part of an effort to educate and train a new generation of engineers and scientists. The shortage of Brazilians trained in technology areas is a serious drag on Brazil’s economic progress in many fields, especially in space where the nation faces mass retirements in its workforce over the next decade.

Brazil-Canada Joint Statement
August 2011 – Brasília, Brazil

At the invitation of President Dilma Rousseff, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is making an Official Visit to Brazil from August 7 to 9, 2011. The two leaders held a productive exchange of views today, August 8, in Brasilia, and reaffirmed that Canada and Brazil will enhance their bilateral partnership based on common objectives of enhancing and promoting democracy, human rights, social inclusion and sustainable development.

The President and the Prime Minister launched the Brazil-Canada CEO Forum as a new mechanism for the private sector to contribute to increasing trade and investment between the two countries and to policy discussions affecting commercial relations. They nominated two co-chairs, Murilo Ferreira, of Vale, and Rick Waugh, of Scotiabank, and decided to invite six business leaders from each country to take part.

They announced the creation of a Strategic Partnership Dialogue to foster discussions between Foreign Ministers on bilateral, regional, international and global issues. These talks will complement and provide the political context for other high-level bilateral instruments, including the Joint Economic and Trade Council and the annual Bilateral Political Consultations.

Both leaders expressed support for the initiation of exploratory talks between MERCOSUL and Canada, intended to allow both sides to gather elements needed to assess how best to enhance their trading relationship.

With both countries as global leaders in the production and trade of agricultural goods, the President and Prime Minister reaffirmed their commitment, through the Consultative Committee on Agriculture and other forums, to continue collaboration in the areas of agricultural policy, research, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and the agri-environment and to work towards the removal of unnecessary barriers to bilateral trade of agricultural products.

Considering that Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and recalling Canada’s experience in organizing events such as the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Governance and Legacy for the Organization of Olympic and Paralympic Games, aimed at intensifying bilateral investment and cooperation, particularly on infrastructure, safety, and security.

They agreed that fostering people-to-people links will enrich and strengthen Brazil-Canada relations.

They decided to work together to continue to increase the flow of travelers between the two countries. They applauded the signature of a new, modern and flexible open skies-type Air Transportation Agreement and of a bilateral Agreement on Social Security.

The leaders agreed that the two countries have converging interests in energy-related matters, including offshore oil and gas, biofuels and renewables. They decided to establish an Energy Dialogue to enhance bilateral dialogue and collaboration on energy issues.

The leaders underlined the vital contribution of education and innovation to enable both nations to rise to the challenge of globalization in the 21st century, particularly in the realms of job creation and competitiveness. They were pleased by the first results of the Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Cooperation and Academic Mobility, signed in August 2010, recommended enhancing the links between educational institutions from both countries and agreed that both countries should work on an Action Plan to streamline and enhance bilateral educational cooperation, encouraging additional contributions by the private sector.

Prime Minister Harper took note of President Rousseff’s recent announcement of the “Ciência Sem Fronteiras” (Science without Frontiers) program, which entails 100,000 scholarships for Brazilian students to study abroad, with a focus on engineering, medicine and technology, among others. He looked forward to welcoming Brazilian students who wish to take advantage of Canada’s high quality education programs and research excellence. Prime Minister Harper agreed that more Canadian students should also take advantage of opportunities to study in Brazil. He also noted that an important delegation of Canada university presidents would attend the second Conference in Education in the Americas, to be hosted in Brazil next April.

They signaled the strategic importance of the newly established Canada Brazil Joint Committee for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation. They agreed on the development of an Action Plan focusing on the research, development and commercialization of joint projects in biotechnology and life sciences, ocean technology, information and communication technology, clean energy, green technologies, and nanotechnology. They expressed their support for the organization of the “Brazil-Canada 3.0 Conference”, in 2012, gathering government officials, researchers and private sector representatives related to the information and communication technology sector.

They affirmed their desire to initiate a Space Cooperation Dialogue and instructed the appropriate agencies and institutions in the two countries to explore possible avenues for cooperation in the use of outer space for peaceful purposes.

They took note of progress in the bilateral dialogue and cooperation on defence issues. In this context, they welcomed the realization of the next Political-Military Talks, to take place later this year, as well as the current negotiation of a legal instrument to provide a framework for the Brazilian-Canadian cooperation on Defence.

The leaders also welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on International Development Cooperation Effectiveness. Common interests in the area of development were discussed, particularly in Haiti, in view of strong Brazilian and Canadian engagement in that country.

Among other initiatives, President Rousseff expressed Brazil’s interest in the development of Haiti’s energy sector, in particular the construction of Artibonite 4C hydropower plant.

They reaffirmed their commitment to help maintain stability, strengthen democratic institutions, and contribute to the long-term development of Haiti, to help its people and its new government. They underlined the key role played by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

They expressed their shared concern about the drought in East Africa and the importance of working with experienced partners, such as the World Food Programme, in response to this crisis.

The leaders welcomed the return of Honduras to the Organization of American States (OAS). They reiterated their support for the Inter-American system, including the Summit of the Americas and the OAS, and undertook to work together to make it as coherent, transparent and efficient as possible.

They affirmed the valuable contributions towards democracy, peace, cooperation, security and sustainable development made by regional and sub-regional integration efforts and agreements, including the Union of South American Nations, the Southern Cone Market and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The leaders noted the interdependence of peace, security and development. They recognized the pressing need to make the governance of the multilateral system more efficient and effective and to achieve progress in reform of the United Nations. They agreed, in particular, on the importance of reforming the UN Security Council to make it more representative and efficient.

They expressed their support for the adoption of the Declaration of Principles on the Open Government Partnership in the 66th United Nations General Assembly.

They also had an in-depth exchange of views on the current global economic situation and recalled that Canada and Brazil weathered the global financial crises successfully thanks to solid financial regulation and prudent macroeconomic management. They expressed their desire to continue to work together in the World Trade Organization to successfully conclude the Doha Round, as well as in the G20, most notably through the process for a Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth, co-chaired by Canada.

They discussed the upcoming 17th Conference of Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 7th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, in Durban, South Africa, and reaffirmed their intention to work together. They underscored the importance of achieving a successful outcome in Durban.

The leaders reiterated their intention to work closely in preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2012 (Rio+20). They exchanged ideas on the green economy as a tool for sustainable development, as a means for fighting poverty and generating growth and jobs.

President Rousseff and Prime Minister Harper expressed their satisfaction with the momentum and future prospects of the relationship between Brazil and Canada as partners. In this context, the Brazilian President accepted an invitation to visit Canada.