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  • Author: Carolina Salgado, Marek Wasinski
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Visegrad Group is still a new label among policy makers as well as public and private investors, scholars and media in Brazil. However, since their accession to the EU in 2004, and the financial crisis that started in 2008, the four Central European countries in this group have started to look beyond Europe in order to formulate their economic and political agenda, aiming to boost partnerships, for example among the biggest South American countries such as Brazil. V4 and Brazil should build momentum to deepen cooperation in the most promising prospective areas such as trade, military, tourism and education.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The second CIGI Graduate Fellows policy brief examines Brazil's success in ensuring access to essential pharmaceuticals for its citizens, and how this success can be leveraged for other developing countries in similar circumstances. Five unique factors underlie this success, including, among others, a sustained government commitment to public health systems and an indigenous capacity to produce pharmaceuticals domestically, the emergence of a civil society coalition built around the norm of health equity, and the international harmonization of quality assurance and clinical standards related to pharmaceutical research and development. While it is unlikely that other developing countries lacking indigenous manufacturing capacity can achieve similar results in the near to medium-term future, it is instead recommended that private foundations and large bilateral aid country providers invest in a global funding mechanism. This fund would use pre-existing, innovative financing mechanisms to scale up production in the handful of developing countries that have achieved near self-sufficiency in pharmaceutical production, for the benefit of populations beyond their borders.
  • Topic: Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Monica de Bolle
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Public lending by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) may have done more harm than good in Brazil, adversely affecting real interest rates and productivity growth. Specifically, BNDES's large amounts of subsidized lending are responsible for substantial credit market segmentation, choking off monetary policy transmission. As a result, to maintain price stability the Central Bank of Brazil is forced to raise interest rates more than it might do otherwise in the absence of BNDES lending. Restoring Brazil's capacity to grow in the medium term requires a thorough rethinking of the role of BNDES. In particular, the bank's lending rates should be aligned with market prices, term and risk premia, while taking into account that, with an adequate transparency framework, public development banks can increase private sector participation instead of crowding it out.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Bianca Selway
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: With fifteen UN peacekeeping missions already in operation and another in the Central African Republic on the horizon, UN peacekeeping continues to be in high demand. Today, DPKO deploys more than 83,000 troops, 13,000 police, and 2,000 observers, contributed voluntarily by member states. A majority of these are provided by African and South Asian member states, which together provide 74 percent of the UN's uniformed personnel. Latin America has a longstanding history of participating in UN peacekeeping, stretching back more than fifty years to some of the earliest peacekeeping operations. At present, Latin America contributes almost 7 percent of all UN troops and nearly 2 percent of UN police. Two Latin American states occupy spots in the group of top twenty uniformed contributors: Uruguay with a total of 2,164 uniformed personnel and Brazil with 1,755. Latin American contributions are predominantly military contributions (as opposed to police) to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), with support to missions in sub-Saharan Africa amounting to less than 2 percent of the total uniformed deployments to the region.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Foreign Aid, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Asia, Brazil, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Richard Gowan, Nora Gordon
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: International pressure for substantial reforms to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is mounting, fueled in part by its abysmal performance in the Syrian crisis. Yet major obstacles to reform remain. Three of the five permanent members of the Council (China, Russia and the US) are opposed or at least skeptical towards any significant changes to the institution in the near future. There is still a lack of common vision for change amongst the various coalitions and regional groups involved in the debate in New York, and policy-makers outside the immediate orbit of the UN address the issue sporadically, if at all. A concerted push for reform by the "G4" aspirants for new permanent Council seats (Brazil, Germany, India and Japan) in 2011 did not result in a vote as it failed to elicit the required support of two-thirds majority in the General Assembly.1It is not clear that the current frustration over the Council's response to Syria can be translated into a concrete agenda for reform that could win a greater level of support in the immediate future.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, Japan, India, Brazil, Germany
  • Author: Oliver Stuenkel
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Emerging powers frequently stress the importance of sovereignty and the inviolability of international law. As a consequence, many Western observers expected that emerging powers such as Brazil would be quick to condemn Russia's annexation of Crimea. Yet Brazil remained neutral and abstained from the UN General Assembly resolution that criticised Russia. Together with the other BRICS countries, it opposed suggestions to exclude Russia from the G-20, thus markedly reducing the effectiveness of Western attempts to isolate President Putin. Brazil's unwillingness to criticise Russia may have less to do with its opinion on Russia's annexation of Crimea per se and more to do with Brasília's scepticism of Western attempts to turn Russia into an international pariah. From Brasilia's perspective, pushing countries against the wall is rarely the most constructive approach. In addition, many in Brazil are wary of a global order that privileges the U.S. and allows it to flout many norms that apply to everyone else, arguing that these double standards are far more damaging to international order than any Russian policy. Finally, Russia annexed Crimea at a time when anti-Americanism around the world still runs high as a consequence of the NSA spying scandals, making alignment with U.S. positions politically costly at home.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Ricardo Sennes
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Like any other international mega-event, hosting the FIFA World Cup brings the promise of a positive long-term legacy for Brazil. It is a unique opportunity for visibility among more than 3 billion people worldwide who will either attend or watch the games on television. The exposure from the games has the potential to draw national and international investments before, during, and after the thirty-two teams compete for the Cup.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Lysa John
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a new multilateral and Southern-led development bank is expected to be launched by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS. The BRICS Development Bank will provide a fresh source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their development needs. Little has been made public regarding the proposed Bank's core mandate or activities but while governments negotiate the technicalities of the Bank, it is critical that they also provide a solid vision of the principles, priorities and objectives on which the Bank's activities and operations will be premised. This policy brief recommends that these include commitments to: ending extreme poverty and inequality, with a special focus on gender equity and women's rights; aligning with environmental and social safeguards and establishing mechanisms for information sharing, accountability and redress; leadership on the sustainable development agenda; the creation of mechanisms for public consultation and debate; and the adoption a truly democratic governance structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Teressa Juzwiak, Elaine McGregor, Melissa Siegel
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This policy brief considers how businesses and governments in global cities contribute to the integration of migrant and refugee populations, either through outreach, specialized programmes, the provision of services, or targeted funding of non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and to what extent these contributions can be deepened or expanded. The research involved the study of eight cities around the world representing a diversity of immigration experiences: Auckland (New Zealand), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Chicago (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Lisbon (Portugal), Nairobi (Kenya), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), and São Paulo (Brazil).
  • Topic: Non-Governmental Organization, Immigration, Governance
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Malaysia, Brazil, Lisbon, Portugal, New Zealand, Chicago, Kuala Lumpur
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Frances Seymour, William Savedoff
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In March 2004, the Brazilian government initiated a range of policies and enforcement actions (under the Action Plan for Preservation and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon) that brought sharp reductions in the rate of deforestation. In 2008, Brazil signed an agreement with Norway to receive payments during a 5-year period for bringing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation below a 10-year average (1996–2005). Norway pledged up to US$1 billion for this agreement, which stipulated that these funds would be donated to the Amazon Fund (Fundo Amazônia), managed by the Brazilian National Development Bank and invested in actions to prevent deforestation and to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the Amazon biome.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Treaties and Agreements, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Norway, Brazil
  • Author: William R. Cline
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This semiannual review finds that most of the major international currencies, including the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen, UK pound sterling, and Chinese renminbi, remain close to their fundamental equilibrium exchange rates (FEERs). The new estimates find this result despite numerous significant exchange rate movements associated with increased volatility in international financial markets at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2014, and despite a major reduction in the price of oil. The principal cases of exchange rate misalignment continue to be the undervalued currencies of Singapore, Taiwan, and to a lesser extent Sweden and Switzerland, and the overvalued currencies of Turkey, New Zealand, South Africa, and to a lesser extent Australia and Brazil. Even so, the medium-term current account deficit for the United States is already at the outer limit in the FEERs methodology (3 percent of GDP), and if the combination of intensified quantitative easing in Japan and the euro area with the end to quantitative easing in the United States were to cause sizable further appreciation of the dollar, an excessive US imbalance could begin to emerge.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Japan, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand