by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty Source: The White House At the invitation of President Dilma Rousseff, the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, paid a State Visit to Brazil on March 19, 20 and 21, 2011. The ensuing agreement and joint statement touches on a number of sectors, the relevant sections include: Science, Technology, Innovation and Space Cooperation The Presidents affirmed that innovation and investment in science and technology, and associated human capital are keys to sustained economic growth and competitiveness. They expressed their support for the work of the Joint Commission for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, and praised the results of the Innovation Summits. They encouraged further communication between these initiatives. President Rousseff welcomed the emphasis the U.S. National Space Policy has placed on international cooperation and expressed her wish to expand the dialogue with the United States bearing in mind the guidelines of the Brazilian space policies, aimed at technological capacity building and the commercial use of infrastructure and technology. In this context, they welcomed the signing of a new bilateral Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and expressed their desire to commence negotiations of a new agreement to protect launching operation technologies. Furthermore, they affirmed the commitment of their countries to security in space and decided to initiate a dialogue in that area. They also instructed the appropriate agencies in the two countries to discuss the establishment of a Brazil – United States. Working Group on satellite-based earth observations, environmental monitoring, precipitation measurement, and natural disaster mitigation and response that would facilitate future dialogue and cooperation in these fields. Defense, Disarmament, Nonproliferation and Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy The Presidents recalled the progress achieved on defense issues in 2010, with the signing of the Defense Cooperation Framework Agreement and, more recently, the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). They committed to undertake efforts to follow up on the established dialogue in this area, primarily on new opportunities for cooperation. They recognized the importance of enhanced regional disaster relief and crisis management coordination efforts and took note of the proposal presented to the IX Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas for coordinated military support for civilian disaster response in the Americas. They reaffirmed both countries' commitments on disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, with a view to achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. In this regard, the Presidents welcomed the opportunity to build on the successes of the recent Nuclear Security Summit, the VII Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and the ratification of the New START Treaty between the United States and Russia. They also decided on the need to bring into force the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, start negotiations on a Fissile Material Treaty, and to achieve a successful Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference in December 2011 and underscored the importance of compliance with and full implementation of all disarmament and non-proliferation related international obligations, including relevant UN Security Council and IAEA resolutions calling for countries to demonstrate the exclusively peaceful nature of their nuclear programs. They noted, with satisfaction, that the Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation includes nuclear energy, focusing on the following aspects: probabilistic risk assessment, reactor life sustainability, development of human resources, licensing, management of serious accidents, emergency response, prevention, and combustion efficiency. The leaders agreed to strengthen the dialogue and bilateral and multilateral cooperation on nuclear security and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In this context, they decided to commence talks on Brazilian participation in the "Partnership for Nuclear Security" (PNS), which could provide support for experts from both countries in activities related to research and development and to training and education in the areas of physical protection of installations and nuclear security and took note of Brazil's interest in joining the United States to support the International Atomic Energy Agency "Peaceful Uses Initiative" (PUI), a campaign launched last year to foster nuclear applications in the developing world for human health, food security, water management, and infrastructure. The Leaders also proposed to explore cooperation on a regional Center for Excellence that would serve as a forum for sharing information, best practices and training in partnership with relevant multilateral organizations, and noted the intention of the two governments to pursue a Memorandum of Understanding on the Megaports Initiative to prevent illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials. [Full press release]
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