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WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM MEETING IN SÃO PAULO 2006


Geneva, Switzerland -
The World Economic Forum said today that it hopes its meeting in São Paulo on 5-6 April will act as a platform to help leaders focus on capitalizing on the current climate of change and economic opportunity in the region. The roundtable will bring together a select group of 250 leaders from business, government and civil society to identify the key regional priorities and to generate the insights necessary to develop pertinent strategic responses.

Under the general theme Building a Stronger Latin America in the Global Economy, the programme is based on the values of economic rigor, social equity, environmental soundness and respect for cultural diversity. It is centred on four main pillars:

1. Managing Global and Regional Risks

2. Improving Latin America's Competitiveness

3. Continuing with the Integration Agenda

4. Re-evaluating the Investment Framework

Latin America’s economic growth in 2004 averaged 5.6% - its highest performance since 1980. The economy is expected to post a growth of approximately 4% in 2005, benefiting from a favourable international climate, which is led by the world economy’s robust growth, high commodity prices and a significant improvement in the international financial risk environment compared with the situation prevailing up to 2002.

The "inequality trap" faced by the region will also remain a major concern for the new governments that emerge from the presidential elections in Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela in 2006.
Press Release - World Economic Forum Jan. 28 2006

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 ---Mercusur on the move in 2006
---The South American Community of Nations SACN

Seeking to crack down on an epidemic of child prostitution,  the Brazilian In Rio, two girls rest before going to work. Both are rec...government is targeting Carnival, the annual pre-Lenten festival during which the illicit trade reaches its zenith.
Brazil Cracks Down On Child Prostitution for Carnaval by sfgate.com on 5FEB05


 Child Prostitution Vigilance by news.bbc.co.uk 26JAN05
Brazil - Child Prostitution Crisis by LibertadLatina.org
The Crisis of Child Sexual Exploitation in Brazil

Between 250,000 and 2 million children forced into prostitution in Brazil
Short quotes and Links

There is a general large scale campaign against child prostitution in
Brazil, with a nationwide toll free number "disque denuncia"
to tell
authorities about these cases.

 

Tourism Booming in Brazil
Brasília - Since the creation of the Ministry of Tourism in 2003, sector revenue has practically doubled and is expected reach US$4 billion this year, reports minister Walfrido dos Mares Guia.
And as the sector is labor-intensive, that is good news; the minister says that direct and indirect employment in the sector in 2005 is over 300,000.

Mares Guia says Brazil has won a place on the world tourism map. And that was possible because the government made tourism a state policy priority, he says. The minister reports that the government established a four-year plan under which there would be 1.2 million jobs in the tourism sector by the year 2007 and revenue of US$8 billion. "I think we will exceed those targets," says Mares Guia.

Rio de Janeiro, in the State of Rio de Janeiro; São Paulo, in the State of São Paulo; Salvador, in the State of Bahia; Fortaleza in the State of Ceará; and Recife, in the State of Pernambuco are the top five cities in the ranking of most visited cities by foreign tourists. The Ministry of Tourism, through EMBRATUR (Brazilian Institute of Tourism), estimates an increase of approximately 6% in the total flow of tourists (national and international) in the 2004/2005 summer, when compared with the 2003/2004 season.

According to EMBRATUR’s (Brazilian Institute of Tourism) Annual Statistics Brazil saw a 15.49% growth in foreign tourists in 2004. The country received 4.7 million international visitors in 2004, compared to 4.1 million in 2003. The Argentine tourist, followed by North-Americans, Germans and Portuguese are the main visitors.

Ivan Richard Reporter Agência Brasil contributed to this article


In 2006, nearly a dozen Latin American countries will choose a president, and some countries will also have legislative contests. The biggest challenge herein is not the ''leftward drift'' that many foresaw when Evo Morales was elected president of Bolivia in December....Washington's post-9/11 priorities have not included Latin America. Priorities for the new year 1Jan-2006
Miami Herald [miami.com],
 

Rio de Janeiro hosts World's largest New Year's CelebrationThe city started beefing up security in tourist areas in the mid-1990s, helping bring back foreign travelers and driving up real estate prices. Rio's tourism promotion board estimates 1.9 million foreigners will visit the city this year, a 70 percent increase from 1997
--- by bloomberg.com 30DEC-2005

---
Detroit Free Press

President Lulu leads fight against Child Prostitution

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has pledged to fight sexual exploitation of children as a top priority since taking office in 2003.

For Carnaval, local officials and workers with UNICEF are put up posters and handed out flyers at airports and popular Carnival locales warning adult tourists that they could spend four to 10 years in prison if they have sex with anyone younger than 18.

Child prostitution is partly the product of rampant unemployment and grinding deprivation that continue to afflict this country of 184 million people, despite the economic growth of recent years. About 40 million people live in extreme poverty, according to official surveys.

"The government can do whatever its wants (to combat underage) prostitution, but we still need more jobs and money," said a Rio prostitute who identified herself only as Carla and who claimed to be 28 but wears braces and looks much younger.


Gay/Lesbian Rights
In 2003, Brazil presented a ground-breaking resolution at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights expressing concern at abuses against persons on the grounds of their sexual orientation and calling on states to “promote and protect the human rights of all persons regardless of their sexual orientation.” This was the first time, at long last, that a resolution specifically focusing on sexual orientation had been brought before the Commission. Unfortunately, although it was co-sponsored by twenty other countries, the resolution was shelved at the last moment


Drug Patents & International AIDS Policy
Corporate lobbyists have an undue influence on the global fight against HIV/AIDS and poverty, says a new report by ActionAid International.

ActionAid's report, Under the Influence, reveals a worldwide explosion of corporate lobbying, contributing to unfair trade rules that may cost lives. In 2004, The US pharmaceutical industry alone spent over $1 billion on lobbying.

The report cites examples of the results of this spending, which includes privileged corporate access to, and excessive influence over the WTO policymaking process. For example, drug companies, according to findings, are using WTO rules to safeguard their profits and hinder the fight against HIV/AIDS.

In 2003, the report relates, senior officials from Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, negotiated directly with the WTO's director-general and its member states to block a proposal that would allow poor countries to import cheaper copies of patented drugs during health emergencies. Drug industry lobbying at the WTO brought about a rule change last year which ensured that countries such as Brazil, India and Thailand will find it much harder to make cheaper copies of patented medicines.

Corporate lobbyists have an undue influence on the global fight against HIV/AIDS and poverty, says a new report by ActionAid International.

ActionAid's report, Under the Influence, reveals a worldwide explosion of corporate lobbying, contributing to unfair trade rules that may cost lives. In 2004, The US pharmaceutical industry alone spent over $1 billion on lobbying.

The report cites examples of the results of this spending, which includes privileged corporate access to, and excessive influence over the WTO policymaking process. For example, drug companies, according to findings, are using WTO rules to safeguard their profits and hinder the fight against HIV/AIDS.

In 2003, the report relates, senior officials from Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, negotiated directly with the WTO's director-general and its member states to block a proposal that would allow poor countries to import cheaper copies of patented drugs during health emergencies. Drug industry lobbying at the WTO brought about a rule change last year which ensured that countries such as Brazil, India and Thailand will find it much harder to make cheaper copies of patented medicines.

ActionAid works in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to fight global poverty and tackle the injustice and inequity that causes it. For more information, visit actionaidusa.org


 
Brazil condemns US international position on AIDS & Sex Workers

 In early May of 2005, Brazil declared its defiance of American diktats abroad. The country's national AIDS commissioner, HIV doctor Pedro Chequer, turned down $40 million in US assistance for its fight against AIDS rather than sign a statement condemning prostitution. "For us it was an ethical issue," Chequer told The Nation. "We have to reach every segment of society, with no discrimination. Besides, no country is supposed to decide what another country must do." US President George Bush has allocated $15bn to the worldwide fight against Aids.

"We must remain faithful to the established principles of the scientific method and not allow theological beliefs and dogma to interfere," said Pedro Chequer, director of Brazil's AIDS program, in an interview with The New York Times.

Over the past two years, organizations around the world have been asked to sign similar statements and to halt their advocacy for sex workers' rights, the result of restrictive language slipped into AIDS and human-trafficking bills by Representative Chris Smith, a morality crusader who began his career as director of New Jersey Right to Life. According to human rights advocates, most have signed rather than risk losing crucial funds, but Brazil insisted that USAID negotiate directly with its AIDS commission rather than with individual NGOs, and this changed the balance of power.

According to Chequer, seven government ministries have seats on the commission, and all voted unanimously to support his decision and to fill the funding gap. In Brazil, where prostitution is legal, the government was unwilling to turn its back on a population that's not only among the most vulnerable to HIV but also among the most active in combating it. "Sex workers are part of implementing our AIDS policy and deciding how to promote it," Chequer says. "They are our partners. How could we ask prostitutes to take a position against themselves?"

'Bullying'

Much of the spending is being channelled to programmes that advocate abstinence, rather than condom use, and cannot be used for abortions or to treat prostitutes.

But Aids activists in Brazil said the clause would hamper the treatment of infected sex workers and their clients.

Mr Chequer also called for official recognition of prostitution as a profession in Brazil.

Sex workers should have the right to collect state welfare payments like other workers, he said.

"That clause shows disrespect for sex workers. We advocate the legalisation of the profession, with the right to collect INSS [social security] and a pension," said Mr Chequer.

Brazil has rejected Bush's AIDS-relief money because it came with strings attached: a requirement to condemn prostitution, rather than working with sex-workers to promote safe sex. The Bush AIDS money comes with requirements to block abortion, birth control and sex-ed in favor of abstinence programs. Developing countries can't afford the luxury of hypocritical "faith based" HIV/AIDS prevention.

Just Say Não by Esther Kaplan for thenation.com on 30MAY05
The Nation

Brazil turns down US Aids funds buy news.bbc.co.uk on 5MAY05


"the decision to strip Americans of their First Amendment right to speak as they please on prostitution opens the way to an attempt to keep them silent on abortion, too. "

New York Times Op-Ed Against Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath

 

 

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/cgi-bin/news/xml/newsxml.cgi?cat=Brazil


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