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Brazil and CERN express interest in establishing closer links

Geneva, 22 July 2002. The map of countries affiliated to CERN1, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, may in future include Brazil. On a visit to CERN on 18 July 2002, the Brazilian Minister of State for Science and Technology, H.E. Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg, expressed his country's interest in closer links to the Laboratory.

During his visit, the Minister and CERN Director General Luciano Maiani issued a joint statement expressing their support for the long-term continuation of a Cooperation Agreement first established on 19 February 1990. They agreed that Brazilian participation in CERN's Large Hadron Collider project should be strengthened. Brazil has a strong tradition in particle physics, and is a long-standing partner of CERN. Brazilian physicists are already involved in the LHCb, ATLAS and CMS experiments. The Minister and the Director-General also agreed to study the possibility of Brazil joining CERN-led Grid computing infrastructure projects.

"This represents a great opportunity for Brazil, Latin America as a whole, and for CERN," commented Professor Maiani following the visit. Latin America has an 800-strong particle physics community, of which around a quarter is involved in experiments at CERN. In recognition of this, CERN recently lent its support to a series of biennial physics schools organised jointly with the Latin American Physics Centre (CLAF).

In this first meeting for ENLIGHT, experts from around the world will gather at CERN to discuss the physics and engineering of the particle accelerators and beam systems needed to provide the light ions. The meeting will bring together clinicians, oncologists, physicists and engineers from many countries, including Germany where in the past four years the GSI (Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung mbH) in Darmstadt has treated about 100 patients with a new carbon-ion beam, and Japan, where the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator Centre (HIMAC) in Chiba has been operational for six years.

At the conclusion of the Minister's visit, he and Director-General Maiani agreed to establish a Working Group to examine ways of strengthening Brazil's links with CERN, and to prepare the way for a Brazilian request to CERN Council to become an Observer at the Council. Observer status allows a country's representatives to attend Council meetings but not to participate in votes, which are the prerogative of the Organization's Member States. If admitted, Brazil would join Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO as an Observer at the Council.

1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and Unesco have observer status.