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Montevideo, February 7th 2023 - 08:35 UTC



Brazil behind in contributions to global agencies

Wednesday, December 7th 2022 - 09:53 UTC
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Brazil might lose its voting rights within the UN and other global organizations if payments are not made Brazil might lose its voting rights within the UN and other global organizations if payments are not made

The transition team leading Brazil from the current Jair Bolsonaro administration to the one headed by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva due to take office on Jan. 1 Wednesday announced that the South American country was some US$ 1 billion behind with its payments to international organizations.

It is feared that under these circumstances Brazil might end up losing its voting rights within these forums, such as the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Acting as a spokesman for the transition team, former Senator Aloizio Mercadante of Lula's Workers' Party (PT) also explained that there was no room in the 2023 Budget to pay all the debts. Hence, the future government will need to define its priorities.

Preference will be given to payments to organizations in which Brazil may lose voting rights and be excluded due to default. “Brazil will be excluded from various forums. It is a heavy debt, which also has no budget forecast for next year,” Mercadante said.

Former Federal Budget Secretary Esther Dweck, also a member of the Planning and Budget work group of the transition team, said that one of the most urgent concerns was the WTO, where Brazil is about to lose its voting rights.

“Let's look at those that are on the verge of [Brazil] losing [its voting rights] and then how to pay this liability that is not going to be possible in the first year. Look at where it is most urgent, things that are small but symbolic, environment, and agriculture. Solve what is more urgent,” explained Dweck, who admitted that liabilities had been accumulating over the last years, but not all in the current government.

Also a member of the Planning and Budget Group, Economist Antonio Corrêa de Lacerda said that the debts and the risk of exclusion of Brazil represent an obstacle to the elected government's plans to recover Brazil's recognition in the international scenario.

“This goes against a project of international insertion because the basic thing you have to do is fulfill these commitments with these international bodies. Brazil's participation in these international bodies is very important for this new vision of the State, [a] vision of planning and of national development itself,” he argued.

In the case of the UN, if a country owes two or more years of regular contributions, it can lose its right to vote. To avoid this situation, Brazil has paid some installments, such as the one at the end of 2020, when the government made a supplementary credit (reallocation) to pay the UN and the Organization of American States (OAS).

According to the Planning and Budget group of the transition team, the country also faces problems keeping the digital government operational, a series of public services available over the internet. Dweck estimated at R$ 60 million (US$ 11,458,254) the insufficiency of resources in the 2023 information technology budget.

“In some areas, one of them being digital government, the budget has not kept up. The [portal] has a series of services provided to the population, but the budget has not kept up with the growing demand,” she said.

According to Mercadante, digital government is a way to increase efficiency and improve the quality of service to society. He informed that he is studying the possibility of transferring some functions of the former Ministry of Planning, such as digital government, to the Ministry of Development, a portfolio that will be recreated in the new government, in order to stimulate innovation in public service.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)


Categories: Politics, Brazil, International.

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