On this inaugural series of Hot Talks, where we invite experts to discuss key themes pertinent to diplomacy in international development, we sit down with Chiara Soletti of the Italian Climate Network to discuss recent threats made by the Bolsonaro administration in Brazil against both the Amazon and the indigenous populations. We discuss the potential threat to the global climate that this move could have and highlight the opportunity that is present for both businesses and NGOs in taking up the role where government may be missing.
Venezuela has been in an economic crisis for years but the situation heightened when the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, was declared interim president by the assembly as a response to current President Nicolas Maduro's management of the country. Since then, the country has been the scene of a dire humanitarian crisis and the pawn of a geopolitical hand at play. Yet while the country's politics goes on, millions flee the country and basic human needs aren't being met. Can diplomacy in international development save Venezuela? Is there a role for NGOs and either state or non-state actors to engage to provide relief and aid for the Venezuelan people? On this episode, we invite Temir Porras Ponceleon (former Foreign Affairs Advisor to Hugo Chavez and former Chief of Staff to Nicolas Maduro), Daniel Lansburg-Rodriguez (Director of Latin America for Greenmantle LLC and Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern Kellogg), and Ryan Lloyd (Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sao Paulo) to discuss this crucial question - is diplomacy in international development still possible in Venezuela?
NB: This episode was recorded on Monday, 29 April. On 30 April, Juan Guaido declared to have military personnel switch loyalty to declare an end to Maduro. Maduro retains the majority of the Venezuelan army’s backing. However, the situation is still ongoing and still remains unclear. Much of the uncertain and potential for what could occur was forecasted in this podcast.
In early 2019, Brazil elected Jair Bolsonaro as its new president. Hailed as the "Trump of Brazil" by many media commentator for his far-right stances, he has come into office promising to tackle the country's urban violence and spiralling corruption which has caused much unwanted attention globally. Much like Trump, Bolsonaro dismisses climate change and his political focus is no longer on sustainable development for a country where economic inequality and poverty is still a reality. So what is the current political climate and will for sustainable development in Brazil? On this episode, we're joined by Dr Ryan Lloyd of the University of Sao Paulo, Amanda Lima of UNDP and political journalist Carlos Oliveira to discuss the current Brazilian political landscape, political will for the SDGs and the change for businesses and NGOs to influence for the sake of social good.