IDRC Senate testimony highlights role of research in Brazil

IDRC’s Federico Burone testified before Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade in early February about the essential role of research in Brazil’s economic and political development.

“Support for scientific and technological innovation is essential to achieving sustainable and equitable development in Brazil, its neighbours, and elsewhere,” said Burone, director of IDRC’s regional office in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Burone appeared -- via webcast from Montevideo -- at the invitation of the committee, which is conducting a special study of the political and economic development in Brazil and its implications for Canadian policy and interest in the region.

IDRC has supported research in Brazil since 1972, Burone noted, by promoting democracy and development in the country and throughout the region. For example, IDRC played a key role in keeping independent research alive during the country’s years of dictatorship. Current support is helping increase access to health care, fight coastal pollution, and generate clean energy.

But not all have benefited from Brazil’s economic progress, Burone said, and the country’s high rate of inequality, unemployment, and urban insecurity highlight the importance of continuing to support research.

“Increasing the capacities of research centres in Brazil is critical to furthering its transformation and extending greater opportunity and stability through the Americas,” Burone said.

The committee’s study of Brazil follows similar studies on other emerging economies. IDRC President David Malone appeared before the Committee in May 2009 to testify about India.

Published: 17 Mar 2011

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