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  • Wednesday, March 22, 2023 1:36 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    The relationship between the United States and Brazil has historically been characterized by periods of cooperation and tension, with issues ranging from trade, to democracy, and human rights. In the 20th century, the United States supported the military dictatorship in Brazil, but after the fall of this regime, the United States worked with Brazil as the country transitioned to democracy. In recent years, climate change and environmental concerns have emerged as key areas of focus for both countries. With the election of President Joe Biden in the United States and the return of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, the two countries face new opportunities and challenges that will shape the future of their relationship for years to come.

    The official position of the US State Department is that the United States and Brazil enjoy a strategic partnership based on shared democratic values and economic interests. The two countries have strong trade and investment ties, with Brazil being the ninth-largest trading partner of the United States, and the U.S. being the second-largest trading partner of Brazil. In 2019, the United States made an agreement to suspend Brazil’s designation as a developing country in the World Trade Organization, citing concerns about its trade practices, but also simultaneously backed Brazil for a chance to join OECD. The State Department also notes that the United States supports Brazil’s economic reform efforts and recognizes its role as a regional leader. However, recent events have strained the relationship between the two countries. The presidency of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, marked by controversial statements and policies, was met with criticism from the United States and other countries.  Additionally, the Bolsonaro administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the environment, specifically the increase in deforestation of the Amazon, were other major points of contention between Brazil and the international community.

    The return of Lula da Silva to the presidency in Brazil presents a new dynamic in US-Brazil relations. Lula, who served as president from 2003 to 2010, is a popular figure in Brazil and has a track record of promoting social welfare policies and environmental protection. After Lula met with Biden in Washington, D.C., they released a Joint Statement making it known that the United States plans to work with Brazil on shared priorities such as climate change and democracy. Lula has also spoken about the need to strengthen Brazil’s democratic institutions and promote social justice, which could align with the Biden administration’s priorities.

    Climate change in particular will be a topic of focus in the US-Brazil relationship in the coming years. The protection of the Amazon rainforest, which is crucial to global climate stability and biodiversity, has been a source of tension between the two countries. The Bolsonaro administration’s policies were criticized by Biden during his presidential campaign, French President Emmanuel Macron, and the NGO Greenpeace, for contributing to deforestation and environmental degradation in the Amazon. When tensions were at a high point Germany and Norway suspended funding for projects to curb deforestation in Brazil. In April 2021, President Biden hosted a virtual climate summit in which he called on countries to work together to address climate change. Breaking from his earlier hardline positions, Bolsonaro agreed during the Climate Leaders Summit to end deforestation by 2030 and committed to net-zero emissions by 2050. This was an important step for Brazil in relation to climate change prevention, but the promises made by Bolsonaro must be kept by the Lula administration.

    In an article for Reuters, Natalie Unterstell, President of Talanoa Institute and also coordinator of the Brazilian Climate & Development initiative, and Karen Marie Oseland, a Climate Policy Associate at Climate Advisers, argue that the private sector will play a critical role in addressing environmental challenges in Brazil. Unterstell and Oseland note that companies such as Nestle and Unilever have made commitments to reduce deforestation in their supply chains, but that more needs to be done. They argue that the Biden administration and the Lula administration could encourage more private-sector action by providing incentives and promoting transparency. However, they note that there are also risks associated with relying on the private sector, such as the potential for companies to attempt to make token environmental gestures to hide their environmentally unsustainable practices. There is also the possibility that companies may prioritize their bottom line over environmental protection, unless there are clear consequences in the forms of fines or lawsuits.

    Overall, the election of Lula da Silva presents the United States with a great opportunity to cooperate with Brazil on climate change and make meaningful contributions to the preservation of the Amazon. When the United States and Brazil are aligned in climate policy, it means that the world can expect more substantial action. Brazil plays an important role in the world as a protector of the Amazon, and must carefully balance economic interests with those of the environment. Through cooperation and active dialogue, the United States and Brazil have the unique opportunity to ensure that there will be a future that preserves the Amazon and combats factors contributing to climate change. The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire encourages active participation in discussions about the environment and the role that the United States should play in collaborating with other countries on this matter.

    - Ben Duffy-Howard, WACNH Intern

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2023 7:34 AM | Anonymous

    Lilian Namagembe participated in a 2019 in-person IVLP on the topic of “Mental and Physical Disabilities” She is from Uganda, and at the time of her IVLP she was a journalist for the Daily Monitor.

    During her time in NH, she is grateful for the professional resources that she and her IVLP colleagues were able to meet with and exchange ideas. Two of these resources include the UpReach Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc. and the Rhythm Tree. Namagembe was amazed by the innovative ways that both organizations run to support individuals that have a diverse range of physical and/or mental disabilities. She hopes to bring many of these initiatives back to Uganda so that individuals in her country will also have access to these opportunities to have a more fulfilled, supportive lifestyle.

    Lilian is a journalist by profession, however, her IVLP experience was so impactful that she changed her professional career path after returning home to dedicate her work in communications to support international humanitarian organizations. She is currently the Communications Officer at Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Uganda. Lilian has also created her own organization, Charity Productions Ltd, in Uganda where she is able to offer services to organizations to help raise funds to donate to charities.  Many of these charities are in place to support individuals needing medical financial assistance. She is actively working to help raise funds for charities throughout Uganda. Lilian tirelessly advocates that all voices are heard and respected in her community, regardless of physical or mental ability.

    Another initiative that Lilian has started is a registered club, Stop Tetanus Investment club. This is a support group for people affected and infected with Tetanus to pool funds and use them to create awareness against the lethal disease. 

    IVLP has opened Lilian’s eyes to see that she truly can make a positive difference in her community. One individual, a small group of people, or a large organization can all create positive change that will have a lasting impact for the communities they serve. Lilian expresses how much her IVLP experience has changed her to focus on how she can contribute to initiatives to help her community. Lilian is so grateful for this opportunity, and she is excited to continue to lead the way in making positive change.

    A few additional documents from Lilian’s awareness campaigns and crowdfunding:

    Report on 9 Year Old Suffering from Tetanus in Uganda - Lilian's nephew

    Crowdfunding Campaign for Lilian's Nephew

    "Tetanus is a cruel killer""

    Thank you so much, Lilian for taking the time to reconnect with us here at WACNH and for all you do to support all people's rights to be met! 

  • Monday, February 27, 2023 3:59 PM | Anonymous

    We are thrilled to have recently been able to re-connect with Eman Borg, an IVLP alumnus from one of our 2020 virtual programs. Eman has since had the opportunity to participate in an in-person IVLP on the topic of “Current U.S. Social, Political, and Economic Issues for Young European Leaders III”. Although we did not have the opportunity to host Eman here in NH during his time in the U.S., we were eager to check in after he returned home to hear about his IVLP experience and how in-person may have differed in comparison to his virtual experience.

    Eman expresses how he has always wanted to participate in an in-person IVLP, and that he was so grateful for the opportunity to travel in the United States for 3 weeks as a second time IVLP participant. Although he found meaning in his virtual IVLP, the in-person opportunity has truly made a lasting impact on Eman’s personal and professional life. The ability to converse with professional counterparts from different communities and countries in person was an extremely meaningful opportunity for Borg. Networking and building new connections cannot always be replicated exactly the same in a virtual environment.

    He is looking forward to taking his newly gained knowledge, skillsets, and professional relations with him as he implements new and improved initiatives in his small island of Malta. We are so happy to hear that Eman’s in-person IVLP has made such a positive impact on his life. We cannot wait to see all of the great work Eman continues to dedicate his time towards in Malta!

    Thank you so much, Eman! We appreciate you for taking the time to virtually meet with us and for all that you do as an activist in Malta. 

    A few photos that Eman would like to share from his travels:
    Picture above: IVLP delegation at Capitol Hill

    Picture above: Eman at State Department

    If anyone would like to learn more about Eman and his virtual IVLP experience, please refer back to his first interview post here

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2023 1:36 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    The current conflict in Ukraine is longstanding and holds great importance for the future of American national security policy in Europe. Although the beginnings of this conflict can be traced back to 2014, and the protests against former Ukrainian President Yanukovych, this most recent stage of escalation, which began just over a year ago, is much more deadly. A disputed referendum and Russian invasion in Crimea led to escalating tensions between Russians and Ukrainians throughout the country. This caused two more independence referendums, led by pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk, eventually causing the breakout of a low level war in the region over the years.

    Attempting to find a way to prevent further violence, the French and German governments joined both the Russian and Ukrainian governments in Minsk, Belarus to negotiate the Minsk agreement. However, the effort to reach a diplomatic solution was largely unsuccessful. The years following the failed negotiations featured a military build-up by NATO in Eastern Europe and economic sanctions against Russia. The Russians responded by holding their largest military exercise since the fall of the Soviet Union, showing that both sides were willing to ratchet up tensions.

    Before the current phase of this conflict, Russia’s foreign ministry called on the United States and NATO to limit their involvement with Ukraine, which the United States rejected. The United States asserted that all countries have the right to determine their own foreign policy, but that NATO membership was not currently on the table for Ukraine. Attempts to negotiate peace eventually failed, and on the 24th of February 2022, Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine.

    Now that the conflict has escalated to open warfare, the United States, and their Western Allies, have taken an active role in supporting the Ukrainians in their fight against this illegal invasion. The Biden administration sent $40 billion in aid to Ukraine for 2022 and has requested an additional $37.7 billion for 2023. More than half of this aid has been dedicated to defense specifically, representing 5.6% of total US defense spending. Timothy Ash, Associate Fellow at Chatham House, a proponent of continued US intervention in Ukraine, wrote in an article for the Center for European Policy Analysis claiming that “Ukraine is no Vietnam or Afghanistan for the US, but it is exactly that for Russia.” The idea is that as long as Russia is mired in fighting this war, it is a strategic win for the US. Further, he claims that helping Ukraine beat Russia sends a message to China that the US, and its allies, are strong and determined when challenged on issues of core importance. This message, in his view, should act as a deterrent for China to invade Taiwan. Furthermore, others who agree with Ash’s sentiment also believe that US intervention in Ukraine is important as a way to help put an end to, or at least contain, Putin’s aggression. Following this line of thought, by stopping Putin’s war, the United States demonstrates its commitment to uphold democratic values in Ukraine and their right to determine its own foreign policy.

    However, there is currently a debate between scholars as to whether this intervention is worth the financial costs. The war in Afghanistan cost $23 billion per year in its first two years. In 2011, at the height of the surge, the war cost $107 billion. The Iraq War cost $54.4 billion and $91.5 billion in its first two years, respectively. Those who believe that US intervention is not worth the costs claim that China is the true threat to the US-led international order and that Russia is more of a well-armed rogue state that wishes to disrupt rather than lead, unlike China. They also believe that extended conflict with Russia pushes that country further into the arms of the China and that it will make it increasingly hard for Europe to find a path to lasting peace and stability. In an article written for The New Republic, Trita Parsi of the Quincy Institute argues that if this war continues on too long “Europe may find itself in a state of constant, low-intensity war that cements enmity beyond generations.” His focus and that of those who agree with him, keys in on the costs of the war that are less easy to calculate with numbers and statistics. This argument emphasizes the importance of not prolonging the conflict, hoping to ensure a more durable peace when the conflict comes to an end.

    As the war continues to rage in the eastern part of Ukraine, and the country faces sustained missile and drone attacks daily, the Western Allies fail to send clear and coordinated messages about their intentions to support or not support Ukraine in their war efforts. Robust debates, centered on facts, allow the populations of these countries to have a say in how their governments respond to the ongoing crisis. The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire invites everyone to engage in these ongoing conversations and utilize its programs to understand both sides of the discussion.

    - Benjamin Duffy-Howard, WACNH Intern
  • Friday, January 13, 2023 10:26 AM | Anonymous

    Mamuka Saparidze participated in a virtual 2021 IVLP focused on “Youth and Civil Engagement”. He is from Georgia and his current work includes coordinating two educational projects funded by the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. These two programs are Soniashnyk and English for Adults Course. He is also the founder of a new educational project, 'Internet Awesome Kid', which provides online and on-site training opportunities on Media and News Literacy and Cybersecurity.
    *More context for each project has been provided below.

    We are so grateful to Mamuka for sharing his reflections as an IVLP participant in our virtual programming here in New Hampshire! We are glad to hear that he enjoyed his professional meetings to meet with New Hampshire organizations that focused on on youth political action and promoting volunteerism. We continue to be humbled by the opportunity to connect such diverse international up-and-coming leaders to a global professional network.  We look forward to following Mamuka’s journey as he continues to make impactful changes in his home country.

    Thank you so much, Mamuka!

    Please read more about Mamuka’s work below:

    1. Soniashnyk - U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy Section funded project that united displaced Ukrainian youth currently living in three Georgian cities around non-formal educational clubs. We provide free English, STEM, Media Literacy and Girls' Empowerment club meetings which contribute to empowering Ukrainian youth and contribute to their smooth integration in local Georgian communities. 

    2. English for Adults Course -  Innovative language course funded by the U.S. Embassy that engages adult learners from five Georgian cities. The program offers the opportunity to learn English through virtual reality and 3D oculus glasses. Innovative approach to language learning is fun and productive at the same time.

    3. 'Internet Awesome Kid' ProjectSaparidze collaborates with public school teachers, school students, and undergraduate students. This new study module increases media consumer’s critical thinking skills which helps them to become savvy news consumers. 

  • Monday, January 09, 2023 3:26 PM | Anonymous

    Happy New Year, everyone! We are looking forward to a great year of diverse IVLP programming, right here in NH over the next twelve months.

    For individuals who do not know much about the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), there are two main aspects. First, WACNH works to provide a diverse array of professional meetings for international visitors with their professional counterparts while in the state. The second goal of IVLP is to provide the chance to give real insights into what the average American is really like.

    One of the most exciting ways we approach this opportunity is through home hospitality. These informal dinners are prime opportunities that allow visitors and NH community members to meet and learn from each other. Through informal conversations, visitors and hosts have the chance to share about their culture, stories, and lives in a unique way. This is, undoubtedly, the favorite part of the trip for all our visitors!

    Before we dive in further, we would like to ask a few leading questions:

    Do you enjoy having opportunities to meet and connect with individuals from different countries?

    Would you like to provide opportunities for yourself, family, and/or friends to become involved in volunteering in the local community?

    Do you love to cook? Or, do you love to eat?

    *If you have answered yes to even just one of these questions, then we would love to chat with you about  getting involved!

    You don't have to take our word for it. Below is a short video we did with a home host, Howard Brodsky, where he talks about why he and his wife enjoy hosting these amazing people in their home. Thank you so much to Howard and Joan for opening their hearts to our visiting groups!

    Many people have asked us about what it takes to host a group, as many assume that only those with large homes in the Manchester area can participate. However, we are looking to show our visitors what everyday New Hampshire looks like, and welcome everyone to enjoy the benefits of this program. Whether you live in an apartment, a duplex, condo, or single family home, we want you to this host. Transportation can be provided for the visitors and groups range in size. The most important thing is not the space, or the food, but the welcoming and engaging conversation. We are eager to continue to expand our NH community host list to reflect the diversity of individuals within our state. We hope to hear from you soon!

    If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to reach out to our International Visitor Program Director, Anise Jasman-Sayers, at to learn more! Please also refer to our FAQ page here to learn more.

  • Tuesday, December 13, 2022 11:30 AM | Anonymous

    Eman Borg participated in a virtual 2020 project, "Current U.S. Social, Political, and Economic Issues for Young European Leaders". He is from Malta and he is currently a M.A. Student full time. A few of his previous positions include: Coordinator for LGBTIQ+Gozo and Secretary General for the National Youth Council.

    In our virtual interview, Eman highlights many important takeaways for how the IVLP program has impacted him, despite it being a virtual project. He shares that during the height of the pandemic, the IVLP program remained creative by offering IVLP projects in a digital format. He is fortunate to have had the opportunity to connect with numerous youth activists throughout the world without needing to leave his home! Borg emphasizes the importance of these meetings, and that this exchange opportunity will create invaluable life-long networking connections with other IVLP participants and professional resources. In his personal IVLP experience, Borg shares that these conversations foster a safe and open environment for all participants, despite differences in opinions.

    To learn more about Eman’s work, we have included two articles that Eman would like to share below:

    ‘ A symbol of visibility’: Hundreds attend Gozo’s first Pride march

    “Homophobia is not a ‘cultural trait’. It’s a choice”

    We look forward to re-connecting with Eman once he returns from his in-person  IVLP 2022 project, “Current U.S. Social, Political, and Economic Issues for Young European Leaders III”. 

    Thank you so much, Eman!

  • Monday, November 21, 2022 11:30 AM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    MANCHESTER/PORTSMOUTH – Everyday universities are partnering with companies around the world, and right here in New Hampshire, to drive innovation and spur economic growth. Through these partnerships, businesses utilize the amazing research of universities to create new products, medical innovations, and more for the betterment of society. Three New Hampshire business leaders will join Dr. Ashley Stevens after his presentation for a panel discussion of how these partnerships benefit everyone.

    On December 1st at 6:00 pm, the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire will bring together industry leaders from the state and region to share insights on the little understood sector of university partnerships. Julie Lenzer, Chief Innovation Officer at ARMI, Andrew Share, Managing Partner at Nixon Peabody, and Marc Eichenberger, Associate VP and Chief Business and Innovation Officer at UNH Innovation, will share their local insights on this global sector. They will amplify the remarks made by Dr. Ashley Stevens, a proven leader in the field, and demonstrate how effective partnerships are moving the NH and global economy forward.

    “Bringing together key voices from the New Hampshire technology sector creates a unique opportunity for discussions on global business,” said Tim Horgan, WACNH Executive Director. “Many people here in NH do not realize the extensive global connections that the business community fosters and how these partnerships drive the NH economy. I am excited to learn from these great leaders about the ways in which university connections with the business community have led to substantial innovations over the years.”

    People from across the state will benefit from this engaging discussion on this $41 billion industry, regardless of their background. Those already working in this space will undoubtedly find new connections, as well as those who are interested in starting a career in technology. Anyone not working in the field will find out more about the critical innovations (Google, the seatbelt, insulin, and more) that have improved the lives of countless billions of people around the world. The pre-event reception begins at 5:00 pm and the event itself kicks off at 6:00 pm.

    Claim your seat at the table by registering today:

    The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that helps the people of the Granite State deepen their understanding of global issues. For a complete look at WACNH’s upcoming programs, please visit

  • Friday, November 04, 2022 11:45 AM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    In the lead up to the election on November 8th, the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire reached out to the campaigns of General Don Bolduc and Senator Maggie Hassan, in the race for the U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire, to gain insights into their thinking on the following question:

    "What is your current stance on financial and military support for the government of Ukraine in its war against Russia?"

    This is a critical global issue and voters should understand where the candidates stand to ensure their vote matches their values. WACNH does not take a stance on issues, policies, candidates, or elections. This information is provided solely on an informational basis.

    Sen. Maggie Hassan:

    "Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war on a sovereign nation is unconscionable, and represents a threat to freedom-loving people around the globe. Ukrainians have demonstrated incredible courage and bravery in the face of this assault, and the United States must continue to support Ukraine and stand up to Putin, including through severe sanctions and military and economic assistance to Ukraine. 

    Our support for Ukraine has been strongly bipartisan -- and we know that autocrats around the world are watching what we do here. China is watching, Iran is watching, and North Korea is watching. Democracy is being tested and Granite Staters know that democracy and freedom are worth fighting for."

    General Don Bolduc:

    WACNH has not received a statement from Gen. Bolduc at the time of posting. We will update this section if the campaign provides one.

  • Thursday, November 03, 2022 2:58 PM | Anonymous

    We are so grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with our #ivlp alumni!

    Fanny Alam participated in a January 2020 project focused on the theme of "Youth Political Engagement in the Digital Age". He is from Indonesia, and he is currently the Regional Coordinator of Sekolah Damai Indonesia (SEKODI) Bandung (Bandung School of Peace Indonesia). We appreciate Fanny's honesty and willingness to share his personal insights as an IVLP participant. It was great to learn more about why it was important to him to visit the USA, and also to learn more about
     New Hampshire's human rights work through a multitude of professional meetings with NH counterparts.

    In past communications, Fanny has also reflected on his experience volunteering with Families in Transition / New Horizons while in New Hampshire. He, alongside other IVLP participants, volunteered to help serve a meal to individuals in the NH local community who were facing homelessness and food insecurity. This opportunity was an impactful part of his IVLP experience as a whole. 

    Fanny is always looking forward to connecting with individuals around the world for professional collaborations! If you'd like to learn more about Fanny and his work, we have included a few links that Fanny has shared with us below.

    Learn more about Fanny Alam here

    Religiosity and Spirituality of Gender Minority in Indonesia: The Contrast between Legal Rights and Reality

    Our Home Together

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