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Joint Action Plan: Brazil and U.S.A. To Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination…

Joint Action Plan Between the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Government of the United States of America To Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality

Washington, DC
March 13, 2008

The Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil and The Government of the United States of America (hereinafter referred to as the “Participants”),

Recognizing the democratic, multi-ethnic and multi-racial nature of Brazilian and U.S. societies, which strengthens the ties of friendship between both countries;

Recognizing further their governments’ commitment to racial equality and equal opportunity and the historic friendship between their nations;

Pledging their ever deepening and ongoing cooperation in eliminating racial and ethnic discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity for all people;

Recalling the political commitments made by the two governments in the Memorandum of Understanding on Education, signed in Washington on March 30, 2007, concerning the Partnership in this area; and

Aware of the importance of cooperating in promoting human rights in order to maintain an environment of peace, democracy and prosperity in the Americas and throughout the world,

Hereby announce the following Joint Action Plan:

1. The Participants are to work collaboratively to promote cooperation, understanding and exchange of information (including best practices) to eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination and promote equality of opportunity for all.

2. To advance these common objectives, a Steering Group to Promote Equality of Opportunity (“Steering Group”) is hereby created to promote equality of opportunity and to discuss and consider with a view to developing specific areas and types of cooperation to eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination.

a) The Steering Group’s purpose is to share perspectives and information, including information on best practices, both in the subject areas listed in paragraphs (3) and (4) and in other subjects as the Steering Group may decide.

b) The Steering Group should meet alternately in Brazil and the United States. In its initial year of operation, the Steering Group should hold two sessions. Thereafter, it should decide on the frequency and timing of its sessions.

c) Each Participant is to designate its respective members of the Steering Group.

d) The Steering Group is to report on its findings and recommendations anytime the Steering Group meets, under conditions that are mutually acceptable to the Participants.

e) The Steering Group should report on its discussions under Article 3 and on the activities proposed and conducted under Article 5 to its respective governments through the Ministry of External Relations, the Special Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality Policies and the Department of State.

3. Subjects for consideration by the Steering Group are to include the areas of:

a) Education at the elementary, secondary, vocational, college, and graduate levels; a particular emphasis on democracy education and its positive association with increased levels of tolerance, equality, and liberty should be explored;

b) Culture and communication, including cultural media, museums and exhibits, among others;

c) Labor and employment;

d) Housing and public accommodation;

e) Equal protection of law and access to the legal system;

f) Domestic enforcement of relevant anti-discrimination laws and policy;

g) Sports and recreation;

h) Health, including promoting the study of disease prevalent in racial and ethnic minorities;

i) Social, historical, and cultural considerations that may be related to racial or ethnic prejudice; and

j) Access to credit and opportunities for training.

4. Special emphasis on education: The Steering Group should as a first priority discuss and consider the special role that education plays in the respective countries, including the equal access to quality education and how education can counter ethnic and racial discrimination. (See Annex)

5. The Steering Group may discuss and consider techniques and initiatives for promotion of equality and methods of eliminating discrimination based on race or ethnicity including, but not limited to:

a) Training programs;

b) Regional initiatives to promote equality of opportunity, through the strengthening of democratic institutions;

c) Public-private partnerships with enterprises and non-governmental organizations;

d) Holding of workshops and seminars;

e) Exchanges of technical experts;

f) Scholarships and fellowships;

g) Cooperation between institutions of higher education, regional and international organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and civil society, including in the field of sports;

h) Programs in third countries, including in Africa; and

i) Other activities as may be proposed to and accepted by members of the Steering Group in the future.

6. This plan of action does not create rights or obligations under international or domestic law.

Done at Brasília, this 13th day of March, 2008, in duplicate, in the Portuguese and English languages.


Edson Santos de Souza
Secretary for the Promotion of Racial Equality Condoleeza Rice
Secretary of State

Education is proposed here as an initial step in implementing the goals of this Joint Action Plan towards ensuring equality and eliminating racial and ethnic discrimination as well as a means for improving conditions for all. Areas and methods to be considered may include:

1. Enhancing and expanding community college exchange programs between Brazilian technical centers and U.S. community colleges;

2. Increasing and targeting recruitment of all students to strengthen the existing youth exchange programs;

3. Broadening and augmenting linkages, relationships, and higher education exchanges with consortia and various universities in Brazil and the United States, including Historically Black institutions, to provide financial assistance and opportunities for study abroad to benefit undergraduate and graduate students, faculty staff and researchers, emphasizing topics related to combating ethnic and racial discrimination;

4. Developing a program for journalists to focus on issues relating to racial and ethnic discrimination;

5. Establishing programs in Brazil to support English in public schools by providing training for English teachers as well as programs in the United States to support the teaching of Portuguese;

6. Working with Bi-National Centers and Brazil’s State Secretaries of Education to provide greater access to English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to traditionally underserved secondary school students in Brazil;

7. Expanding expert exchanges and Digital Video Conferences focused on issues related to ethnic and racial discrimination, public policies, and other Joint Action Plan themes to facilitate discussion between Brazilian and U.S. academics, NGOs, researchers, and educational officials;

8. Expanding support for Brazilian and U.S. experts to present comparative studies on the African Diaspora, cultural diversity, and racial and ethnic discrimination at educational forums and public venues; and

9. Sharing best practices on educational materials, such as software and distance learning, to promote awareness and focus on combating and eliminating racial and ethnic discrimination.


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