Brazil Clears Debts With International Organizations

By Welton Máximo 

In 2023, Brazil made payments totaling BRL 4.6 billion to international organizations, successfully settling its outstanding financial obligations with these institutions. This announcement was made by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (photo) and Planning and Budget in Brasília on Thursday (Jan. 4). The payments covered contributions to the United Nations (UN), multilateral banks, international funds, and various other institutions.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Budget, BRL 2.7 billion of this amount pertained to outstanding balances as of December 31, 2022, while the remaining BRL 1.9 billion was related to commitments from the past year.

The most recent payment, made on December 21, included BRL 289 million for regular contributions to the UN and BRL 1.1 billion to settle debts with peacekeeping missions.

With its debt fully settled with the United Nations, Brazil has secured its voting rights in the UN General Assembly for 2024. This is especially significant as Brazil will also chair the G20 in the same year, a group representing the world’s 20 largest economies. In the latter half of 2023, Brazil held the presidency of the UN Security Council.

“This exemplary record of compliance is the result of collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Planning and Budget, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other federal government entities. It enhances Brazil’s standing on the global and regional stage, reaffirms our commitment to multilateralism, and strengthens our diplomatic capabilities in support of national interests and the principles guiding Brazilian foreign policy,” stated a joint release from the ministries.

The release also outlined the restoration of Brazil’s voting rights in various international bodies, including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Latin America

In the Latin American context, Brazil fulfilled its contributions to the Mercosur Structural Convergence Fund (Focem) by disbursing around BRL 500 million in April. This allowed Brazil to access BRL 350 million for projects in Brazilian municipalities bordering Mercosur countries, focusing on areas such as urban infrastructure, security, basic sanitation, and health. Additionally, in December, during the 63rd Ordinary Meeting of the Mercosur Council, Brazil settled a payment of BRL 14.6 million with the Mercosur Social Institute (ISM).

Budget

The Ministry of Planning and Budget is responsible for disbursing contributions to all international organizations in which Brazil participates, as well as paying quotas in multilateral banks and replenishing foreign funds.

To prevent the accumulation of new debts, the 2024 Budget—approved in late December—made spending on international organizations and commitments under foreign treaties mandatory, thereby prohibiting temporary budget freezes. This change is seen as “rectifying a historical shortfall and providing greater predictability for Brazil’s international activities at the multilateral level,” according to the Ministry of Planning and Budget.