On October 27, Brazil Talk in the company of Brazilian students at Columbia University was invited to visit the Brazilian Mission at the UN in order to learn more about this massive and at times veiled organization. Members of the Mission exposed the actions Brazil is undertaking at the UN and discussed the role of international organizations in different developmental challenges in Brazil. We’ll aim to highlight the main learning points from the visit.
Brazil is now the “largest host country of Syrian refugees in the Americas,” says Ambassador Simas Magalhães.
by Fernando Brigidi de Mello
Over the past few years, and specially in 2015, the world has been facing a devastating global refugee crisis. Violence and deprivation have forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, particularly in Syria, where the civil war is heading towards its sixth year. Recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Istanbul, and the episode of young women in Cologne who were groped and robbed on New Year’s Eve by men described as having “a North African or Arabic” appearance, have increased anxiety over absorbing scores of refugees. In the United States, expressing fear about terrorism, several Governors have taken action to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in their states. Anti-refugee sentiment has also been taking hold in many parts of Europe.
The humanitarian crisis we face is unprecedented in many ways. By the end of 2014, there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide, and with numbers growing daily, their destination options become ever more limited. With refugee camps overpopulated in countries such as Turkey, Pakistan or Ethiopia, and European countries increasing border control and entrance restrictions, many have started to look further and consider other alternatives. Brazil has become one of them.
China is unstoppable. Within less than a year, Beijing-led initiatives pledged to mobilize US$477 billion to enhance South-South cooperation and finance trade, infrastructure and industrial projects overseas. High-profile ventures such as the New Silk Road and BRICS-sponsored projects are likely to benefit most.
On June 28th, President Dilma Rousseff landed in the United States for an official visit, leaving behind an economy in imminent recession and a country in political crisis after the corruption scandal involving state-owned oil company Petrobras.
Speculation over Mrs. Rousseff’s impeachment resurfaced after a national magazine reported that Ricardo Pessoa, the owner of construction company UTC Engenharia, told authorities that the president’s campaign in 2014 received illegal donations. UTC Engenharia is one of the firms accused of forming a cartel and paying kickbacks to politically appointed directors at Petrobras.