Remarks at the U.S.-Brazil Security Forum


John J. Sullivan
Deputy Secretary of State
Brasilia, Brazil

Thank you for getting (inaudible) and thank you for all the distinguished colleagues in the Brazilian government for participating in this important Security Forum we are having today.

I am very much appreciative of your hospitality, for your dedicated collaboration in bringing this Forum to fruition, and finally for generously sharing your knowledge and expertise in these important matters.

The security challenges that face all nations today are increasingly complex and international, and addressing them requires an equally sophisticated and international response. Strategic, intense, on-going bilateral cooperation on security issues is the only way we will be able to combat mutual threats in the Western Hemisphere and globally – threats that we both face in the United States and in Brazil.

Two years ago, we partnered – as he mentioned, the Deputy Minister – that the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro could take place in a secure environment. That event showed how successful we can be when our law enforcement colleagues work together to address shared challenges.

We are enthusiastic to work with Brazil on ways we can jointly take on those challenges in the future. The entire Forum is geared toward the launch of a new, broad cooperation platform that will identify concrete ways to address mutual security challenges.

Above all, we firmly believe that this Forum should not be a talk shop. We agree it needs to be cooperative, operational, and show results.

Together we have the opportunity to review ongoing programs, consider ways to deepen them, and finalize pending agreements, as we’ve discussed earlier today. This is important to ensure we have not left anything out as we move forward, and coordinate internally and within our respective governments.

We should use this Forum to agree on ongoing programs we can continue moving forward and explore new possibilities for cooperation, jointly determining which issues need to shift to the working groups for follow-up.

As the Security Forum will be an operational space, we recommend an interagency task force approach for each of the thematic priorities.

We also recommend an interagency collaborative approach to address the institutional and cross-cutting issues that may arise as a result of our tactical work. The Forum will incorporate themes including: general security cooperation, information and intelligence sharing, technological solutions to security challenges, border security, counter-terrorism, cyber security, corruption, money laundering, and transnational organized crime such as trafficking of weapons and of persons. The list is daunting but it is one we will face together and we will be stronger for facing it together.

The Trump Administration’s priority is to increase intelligence and law enforcement information sharing with partners such as Brazil to thwart transnational criminal organizations and subsidiary organizations, and to enhance our respective operational capabilities and cooperation. Working together, we can make real progress. We are doing this now, starting with this meeting, as we identify areas for cooperation and specific programs to pursue and will build on that cooperation in the future.

A key task will be to identify longer-term cooperation opportunities, define which permanent working groups or task forces make sense, and recommend specific actions for follow-up.

Down the road, we will also need to expand our bilateral cooperation to include, as appropriate, regional partners to jointly address vulnerabilities and illicit networks that affect this hemisphere.

So, as we begin this Forum, I want to reiterate my thanks to you, Mr. Deputy Foreign Minister, and to your colleagues in the Brazilian government for convening this Forum and addressing these important issues. We, in the United States are very much appreciative.