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What is the Lula Institute and what does it do

Jul 14, 2016 5:41 PM

What is the Lula Institute?
The Lula Institute is a non-profit organization whose its main objectives are  to share Brazil's experiences with  public policies to combat hunger and poverty with the countries of Africa, to promote the integration of Latin America and help recover and protect the history of the struggle for democracy in Brazil.

Why was the Institute created?
After completing his term as President, in 2011, Lula wished to share the accumulated experiences from his years of public life. After he left office, Lula met with colleagues and friends and decided to create the Institute, in the same place there the Citizenship Institute had been located.  The Citizenship Institute was the organization responsible for the formulation of many of the public policies implemented during his Administration, such as the Zero Hunger. In Brazil, as in other countries, it is common for former Presidents to create institutions to help support their activities, organize and preserve their historical and documentary collections, and sponsoring discussions on the issues of major significance to each. Much like former Presidents have done in the United States, for example: Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush; and in South Africa, Nelson Mandela; in the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair; in Mexico, Lázaro Cárdenas; in Chile, Ricardo Lagos; in Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso and José Sarney, among others.

How was it conceived?
The Institute was based on the observation and study of both Brazilian and international experiences with institutions created by former Presidents and Prime Ministers. The current President of the Institute, Paul Okamotto, visited various organizations – like the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg - to better understand how they work and how to adopt the best practices in the formatting of the Lula Institute. There was also the legacy of the more than ten years of history of the Citizenship Institute. To learn more about the history of the Lula Institute visit: http://institutolula.org/en/history 

What does the Lula Institute offer?
The Lula Institute provides a space for interaction and dialogue for those who share Lula's ideals: the fight for social justice, the fight against hunger, poverty and all forms of inequality; the strengthening of democracy; the respect for human rights and the construction of world peace. The Lula Institute has a strong international orientation, having as its principal focuses of activity the promotion of integration between the countries of Latin America and the improvement of relations between Brazil and the African continent. To put his vision into practice , the Institute promotes and participates in activities in many different forms: meetings with heads and former heads of State and Government, Ministers, diplomatic representations, seminars, debates, forums and major events. On example is the seminar held in conjunction with the African Union, Nepad (the African Development Agency) and FAO, in Addis Ababa, with seven heads of State and Government, with more than 400 authorities, representatives of multilateral organizations and scholars attending to set an agenda for action aimed at eradicating hunger in Africa by 2025. The agenda was proposed and later approved at the Conference of the African Union in January 2015. Another large event promoted by the Lula Institute was focused on Latin America. In partnership with the Economic Commission for Latin America (UNECLAC), the Inter-American Development Bank  (IDB) and the Latin-American Development Bank (CAF), a seminar was sponsored in 2013  on “The Development and Integration of Latin America", in Santiago, Chile.  Those attending included the former President of Chile Ricardo Lagos, and other  leaders in political and social areas along with 120 intellectuals from 10 countries in the region. A concrete agenda was discussed for development and regional integration in the areas of economic, physical, social and energy in Latin America. The Lula Institute has also introduced the Institute’s new website  "The Brazil that Changes", which combines and presents information on the conception and the results of various public policies that began to be implemented in 2003. The Institute will soon introduce the "Memorial of Democracy", a place to recover and present the principal chapters in the history of the struggle for democracy in Brazil. In addition, the Lula Institute is responsible for providing all necessary logistical support for the various activities in which former President Lula participates, such as honors, interviews, and domestic and international travel. To provide this support, the Institute has a staff that is in charge of organizing the former president’s agenda, a press office and digital communication center, and his correspondence and the logistical arrangements for his travel.

Where does funding for the Lula Institutecome from?
As with all organizations of this type in Brazil and around the world, the Lula Institute’s activities are financed by spontaneous donations from private companies and individuals. Lula Institute  also holds events and activities in conjunction with multilateral agencies and other foundations and international institutes. Like any other private entity, the Lula Institute declares all of its financial activities to the Federal Tax authorities and meets its tax obligations. The Lula Institute does not receive any of public funds from any source.

Why does the Lula Institute maintain such a close connection with Africa?
During his two terms as President, Lula reordered the direction of Brazil's foreign policy, giving priority to the diversification of its international trading partners and building diplomatic relations with countries which, up to that time had been considered to be of little importance. Today the African countries have come to occupy an important place on the Brazilian agenda. Brazil's new foreign policy formulation means that its relations with African countries now include development cooperation and assistance, with the sharing of successful public policies and incentives and incentives to Brazilian investment in African countries. While he was President, Lula made over 30 trips to Africa – visiting 26 different countries, opening 19 diplomatic establishments and made symbolic gestures that were essential for the creation of a new beginning in our relations with African countries. Brazil today has a total of 37 diplomatic missions, the fifth largest number of embassies in Africa of any country in the world. And at the end of his term of office, Lula believed that as a former President he could continue to help improve relations between Brazil and African countries even more. Sponsored by the Lula Institute, Lula made 12 trips to the interior of the continent, visiting a total of nine countries. At that point he decided to create the Africa Initiative, coordinated by Celso Marcondes, a Director at the Institute. Learn more about the structure and the activities of the Africa Initiative: http://institutolula.org/en/africa/initiative 

What about with the Latin American and Caribbean countries?
During the Lula Administration, Latin American integration was identified as a strategic objective of Brazilian foreign policy. During his eight years as President, Lula made 114 trips to countries in the region. The priority given to relations with the countries and regional organizations of the Latin American continent – MERCOSUR, Unasur and Celac – helped to make significant progress in the process of the commercial, political and cultural integration of Latin America. As former President, Lula decided to remain engaged in the construction of Latin American integration in various areas: economic, physical, energy, social and cultural. To coordinate this effort, the Institute created the Latin America Initiative, today headed by former Minister of government and Director of the Institute, Luiz Dulci. The Lula Institute participates in and organizes various events to discuss the continent's strategies for integration with the Governments of the region, as well as with leading intellectuals, multilateral organizations, representatives of trade union movements, social and civic movements and the private sector. In 2015, a colloquium on the "The Integration of Productive Chains in South America", was held in São Paulo, organized in partnership with Unasur and with Ernesto Samper, Secretary General of the Organization and former President of Colombian attending. The  "Chile-Brazil Colloquium", held in São Paulo in 2014, brought together scholars, political leaders and representatives  of Trade Unions and social movements. The colloguium was sponsored in partnership with the Chilean embassy, the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (Flacso-Chile) and the Federal University of Latin American integration (Unila). The seminar " Development and Integration of Latin America" (2013), was sponsored by the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (Eclac), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Latin America Development Bank (CAF) and by the Lula Institute and 10 countries in the region to discuss economic, physical, social and energy integration in Latin America. Since the Institute began, this has been a permanent issure for debate and discussion and various other conferences and discussions have been held regularly. Learn more about the strucrture and the activities of this initiative:  http://institutolula.org/en/latin-america/initiative 

 Is Lula the owner of the Lula Institute?
No. The former President is the Honorary President of the Institute, which has five directors: Paul Okamotto (President), Clara Ant, Luiz Dulci, Paulo Vannuchi and Celso Marcondes. In addition, the Institute has an Advisory Board of 40 individuals from various fields that helps to evaluate and establish the guidelines for its activities. The Institute also has a wide network of collaborators, who have been invited to contribute to discussions on the issues that have been promoted over the past few years. The Institute recently created an advisory Africa Committee that, along with 40 other  members, among them the most important experts in Brazil on the African continent, trade unionists, grassroots leaders and representatives of multilateral organizations and NGOs, such as Unicef, the World Food Programme, the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation and FAO. 

Is the PT (the Worker's Party) the owner of the Lula Institute?
No, the Lula Institute is not a partisan political organization and maintains relations with political and business leaders, and trade and worker's unions, affiliated  or not with political parties.

How many employees does the Institute have?The Lula Institute has a management staff of about 30.

Where are the main offices located?
The Institute has only one office in the Ipiranga neighborhood, in the City of São Paulo, where the Citizenship Institute, directed by the former President was housed.

What are the major events that have been held by the Institute?The Institute has participated as promoter or sponsor, in more than 100 public events in Brazil and in other countries: conferences, seminars, meetings and business meetings, among other activities, always focused on on Africa, Latin America and fight against hunger. Among many other activities the Lula Institute organized the following events: it sponsored -- along with the Federação das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo (Fiesp)  -- a meeting in 2011 with Brazilian business leaders to discuss investments in African countries; the Institute organized the "Forum for Social Progress" in conjunction with the Jean Jaures Foundation in Paris in 2012, with intellectuals from all over the world, French President, François Hollande and President Dilma Rousseff participating. The Institute organized the seminar "Development and Integration in Latin America", in 2013, in Chile, in partnership with Eclac (the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean), the IDB (inter-American Development Bank) and the Latin America Development Bank CAF),  and "The Forum for Eradicating hunger in Africa by 2025", held in Addis Ababa in June 2013 and organized by the Lula Instituite along with with the African Union, the FAO and Nepad (The African Development Agency). In 2015, the Institute continued with a series of seminars "Conversations about Africa." 

Why not be better informed about the things that the Lula Institute does?
To learn more about the activities of the Institute, visit our website, where news, videos, audios and pictures of events held by the Institute and the activities in which the former president participates are posted. You can also find articles and reports about Lula's activities on his Facebook page, and on the Twitter account of the Institute, all opemn to public access. In addition, information about the daily activities of the former President is distributed to the press, to blogs, and to civil organizations. The Lula Institute maintains a staff to handle the requests for information by the domestic and international press.

Does the former President Lula charge for lectures and his participation in activities?The vast majority of the activities of former President Lula are organized by trade unions, working class institutions, media and other organizations in civil society. In these cases, Lula does not charge a fee. In addition to these activities, as former President, Lula receives invitations from many companies and private organizations to give seminars and lectures. In these cases, an honorarium is paid. To handle these invitations and organize his participation in speeches, lectures and seminars, the former President created LILS Lectures and Events, a company that complies with all legal and fiscal obligations.