STOCKHOLM, 19 April 2016 – Today, Brazil joined International IDEA, bringing the total number of Member States in the organization to 29. At the Council meeting held in Stockholm today, Member States welcomed the membership of Brazil, represented by Marcos Vinicius Pinta Gama, Ambassador of Brazil to Sweden.
"We are delighted to welcome Brazil’s membership to International IDEA. The accession of Brazil marks an important milestone for International IDEA as Brazil is the world’s 4thlargest democracy, the 5th largest country, and within the block of the ten largest economies in the world. I view this as a mutually beneficial relationship – a win-win situation where both International IDEA and Brazil have much to gain from the partnership: International IDEA acknowledges the gains made by Brazil in its 30-year long democratic consolidation process. And International IDEA can tap into Brazil’s 30-year experience of democratic transition and consolidation, for sharing lessons with other Member States and programme countries currently undergoing democratic transition or consolidation processes. International IDEA is concerned about the current political situation in Brazil and my plea is that democratic processes and due-process are respected, to avoid any reversal to the democratic gains made by Brazil in the last decades. We stand by Brazil to ensure a peaceful and smooth resolution to the current political crisis.", says Yves Leterme, Secretary-General of International IDEA.
From left: Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Marcos Vinicius Pinta Gama, Ambassador of Brazil to Sweden; and Yves Leterme, Secretary-General of International IDEA
Photo ©: Lisa Hagman/IDEA
On 27 April 2016, the official celebration of the agreement between both parts was held in Brasilia at the Superior Electoral Court Headquarters. Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mauro Vieira, the President of the Superior Electoral Court, José Antonio Dias Toffoli, IDEA’s Secretary General, Yves Leterme, and the Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Daniel Zovatto, were present at the event. Dias Toffoli declared that “as president of the Tribunal, I’m not only satisfied that we have made a step towards the promotion of the Brazilian electoral system’s image to the exterior, but also you should have the absolute confidence that this association between the Tribunal and IDEA will have a long and fruitful life.”
Brazil has cooperated closely with International IDEA in the past, not least through the collaboration that started in October 2014 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Superior Electoral Tribunal and International IDEA for cooperation development and strengthening of institutions, electoral issues and processes that seek to promote democracy, and aspects related to the transparency and efficiency of electoral processes. The Superior Electoral Tribunal and International IDEA will jointly host the VII Ibero-American Conference in 2016 on the topic of electoral justice.
Brazil’s accession to International IDEA complements the organization’s current membership and will be strategic for deepening the organization’s engagement in the Lusophone community across the world.