Public Health and Brazilian Foreign Policy
This article provides a non-exhaustive overview of Brazil’s international activities in the field of public health, in order to determine whether the country actually has a foreign policy in health per se. The first part of the text aims to distinguish Brazilian cooperation from what is practiced by the developed world, by giving a brief review of South-South cooperation in health, with a special emphasis on the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). The second part of the text is devoted to Brazilian action in multilateral fora, where the country has proposed a “new governance” of global health. The article concludes that a Brazilian foreign policy does indeed exist in the field of public health and that the tensions found therein are cross-cutting, encompassing the internal and external spheres. Its future depends on the arbitration of numerous contradictions, using as a reference the principles of the Brazilian public health system, known as the Unified Health System (SUS). Original in Portuguese. Translated by Barney Whiteoak.
Received in Augusts 2013. Accepted in October 2013.