JOINT COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND THE FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL AT THE END OF THE STATE VISIT OF H.E. PRESIDENT DILMA ROUSSEFF TO NIGERIA FROM 22-23 FEBRUARY, 2013
1. At the invitation of H.E. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Madam Dilma Rousseff, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, paid a State visit to Nigeria from 22 – 23 February, 2013.
2. During the visit, the two Presidents held talks on promoting and further strengthening the bilateral relations between Nigeria and Brazil, and provided strategic guidance and direction at the Bilateral Talks to further enhance their bilateral ties and friendship. The two Presidents also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest and reached common understanding.
3. The two Presidents commended the establishment of the Mechanism for Strategic Dialogue between their two countries through the signing of the MoU on the subject at the end of their Bilateral Talks held during the visit. They acknowledged that the MoU on the Mechanism for Strategic Dialogue was the high point of President Dilma’s visit. The two Presidents directed their Ministers of Foreign and External Relations respectively to commence the immediate implementation of the MoU.
4. The two leaders expressed satisfaction with the steady growth of friendly relations and cooperation between Nigeria and Brazil in the past 52 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1961. Both sides expressed their readiness and strong commitment to expand cooperation in various fields and promote the growth of the partnership between the two countries in line with the principles of mutual benefit, mutual respect and mutual interest.
5. The two Presidents also noted with delight the exchange of series of visits between the leaders of the two countries since 2005. They acknowledged that the visits serve as an important instrument for enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries.
6. The two leaders agreed that exchange of visits by high ranking officials of the two countries need to be intensified. To this end, the two leaders instructed that the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation between Nigeria and Brazil should convene the 7th meeting scheduled to hold in Abuja as soon as possible to follow-up the outcomes of President Rousseff’s visit to Nigeria.
7. The two leaders noted the significant roles played by the two countries in the maintenance of peace and security in their respective regions and expressed readiness to work together to promote international peace and security, democracy as well as development.
8. Both countries welcomed the ongoing efforts aimed at reforming the United Nations in order to equip it better to meet the current challenges in the maintenance of international peace and security. In this regard, they called for the urgent reform of the United Nations Security Council to make it more democratic and reflective of the changes in the international architecture since 1946.
9. The two Presidents spoke highly of the friendly relations and cooperation between Africa and South America, and expressed their satisfaction on the outcome of the just concluded ASACOF Summit held in Malabo. Both Presidents also expressed their appreciation for the convening of the 7th Ministerial Meeting of the Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic on 15 and 16 January, 2013.
POLITICAL AND SECURITY COOPERATION
10. The two Heads of State agreed to encourage exchange of visits by officials in the Defence and Security sectors with a view to boosting cooperation in these areas.
11. Both leaders also agreed to promote training cooperation involving military officers of both countries by encouraging participation of Nigerian and Brazilian military officers in training programmes at the staff colleges of both countries.
Guinea-Bissau and Mali
12.The two leaders discussed the conflicts in Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and the Sahel. The Presidents supported the global approach to the solution of the Malian crisis, as set out by the ECOWAS, African Union and the United Nations Security Council. They commended the efforts of the international community, the African Union, ECOWAS and neighbouring countries aimed at supporting the Malian people in restoring its national unity and territorial integrity, building democratic institutions and fighting the twin scourges of terrorism and organized crime. They emphasized the importance of intra-Malian dialogue and the international community`s development and humanitarian assistance in laying a sound basis for long-term stability in Mali.
13.The Presidents expressed their serious concern regarding the present political and institutional crisis in Guinea Bissau and the deterioration of the socio-economic and humanitarian situation of its people. They expressed their support for the efforts of the African Union, the ECOWAS and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries in promoting inclusive dialogue and the conditions for sustainable progress in restoring constitutional order through a democratic electoral process that respects political freedom and human rights. In that regard, President Jonathan urged President Dilma to use Brazil’s influence as an important member of the CPLP to support ECOWAS initiative for the speedy resolution of the crisis in that country.
ECONOMIC, TRADE, AND INVESTMENT COOPERATION
14. Both Presidents welcomed the positive trends in the development of their bilateral trade and pledged to work together towards attaining a more balanced, diverse and mutually beneficial trade relationship. They commended the organization of the Business Forum and urged the business communities of both countries to intensify their efforts towards increasing business contacts between them in order to promote trade and investment.
SOCIAL AND CULTURE AND MEDIA
15. Both leaders emphasized the importance of cultural and educational exchange programmes in solidifying closer ties and friendship between Nigeria and Brazil. They therefore instructed the Ministers of Education of both countries to work through existing MOU or establish a relevant one on cultural and education exchange cooperation. They expressed satisfaction with the choice of Brazil as the main theme of the Annual Lagos Black Festival to be held in October 2013, and pledged to promote the festival.
16. The two leaders affirmed that people-to-people contacts are keys to the development of bilateral relations between Nigeria and Brazil. They acknowledged that the greater people-to-people contacts would provide a more solid foundation for strengthening of the relationship and deepening mutual understanding and friendly ties between the two countries and peoples. In that connection, the two Presidents called for greater flow of scholars, students, mass media community as well as youth exchange of both countries.
17. The two Presidents underlined their commitment to promote bilateral technical and capacity building cooperation in agriculture, energy, power, petroleum, works, infrastructure development aviation and defence as well as other sectors that will be identified from time to time.
18. The two Presidents exchanged information about Nigeria’s candidature for election as a Non-Permanent Member of the UNSC for the period of 2014–2015. They also exchanged information about Ambassador Roberto Azevedo’s candidacy for the post of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Both Presidents re-iterated the importance of the multilateral trading system of trade. They agreed in principle to consider favourably the above candidatures, as well as other candidatures from both countries in the light of their excellent bilateral relationship.
19. The two Presidents noted the importance of energy to the development and industrialization efforts of the two countries. They reiterated their commitments to collaborate in the energy sector for a mutually beneficial partnership. They therefore pledged to work together for the prompt implementation of the MoU on Cooperation in the field of energy signed in 2009 covering initiatives in the areas of power generation, transmission and distribution, as well as in the production and commercialization of bio-fuels.
20. The two leaders underscored the importance of agriculture to their development initiatives, and agreed to actively collaborate in the training and capacity building in agricultural practices and exchange relevant technology.
21. The two Presidents noted the importance of implementing Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) and agreed that the facility of direct air links between the two countries will encourage better people-to-people exchanges and enhance trade between Brazil and Nigeria. They therefore underscored the need to take appropriate measures to promote the re-establishment of direct air-links between the two countries.
22. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the visit by H.E. President Dilma Rousseff, especially the establishment of the Mechanism for Strategic Dialogue which will deepen their partnership. President Rousseff thanked President Jonathan and the Government and people of Nigeria for their warm hospitality.
Done in Abuja, this 23rd Day of February, 2013