Brasília, May 23, 2023: On May 23, 2023, the governments of Brazil and the United States held the first meeting of the Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality (JAPER) since 2013, at Palácio Itamaraty in Brasília. The meeting is a fulfillment of the pledge Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Joseph R. Biden made during their February 10 meeting in Washington, D.C., to reinvigorate JAPER as a core element of U.S.-Brazil relations.
JAPER highlights the importance both countries place on advancing racial equity, promoting human rights and social inclusion, and eliminating all forms of discrimination. Social and economic development, the fight against hunger, and the creation of opportunities that benefit members of marginalized racial and ethnic communities, including African descendants and Indigenous communities, are important pillars in strengthening democracy and democratic institutions.
The bilateral discussions were opened in the presence of the Brazilian Minister of Racial Equality Anielle Franco, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Maria Laura da Rocha (in the capacity as acting Minister of Foreign Affairs), the Minister for Women, Cida Gonçalves and the Deputy Minister for Human Rights and Citizenship, Rita de Oliveira; and the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian A. Nichols, Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice Desirée Cormier Smith, and U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Elizabeth Frawley Bagley.
The two governments committed to work together through JAPER to engage marginalized racial and ethnic communities in both countries, including people of African descent and Indigenous communities.
Today’s discussions shaped a joint workplan and focused on four bilateral priorities of: 1) increasing access to education, 2) providing greater access to health care, 3) addressing violence and promoting justice, and 4) nurturing culture and preserving memory.
Both sides also agreed to explore the role of civil society in JAPER.
As the two largest democracies in the Americas, Brazil and the United States commit to advancing racial equity through JAPER, and to ensuring this initiative is a centerpiece of the 2024 bicentennial celebration of U.S-Brazil diplomatic relations.