The Federative Republic of Brazil has yesterday signed the formal accession agreement paving the way for it to become a Member State of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Following government ratification Brazil will become the fifteenth Member State and the first from outside Europe.
The Astronomical Research Center (A.R.C) mentioned that On 29 December 2010, at a ceremony in Brasilia, the Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology, Sergio Machado Rezende and the ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw signed the formal accession agreement aiming to make Brazil a Member State of the European Southern Observatory. Brazil will become the fifteen Member State and the first from outside Europe.
Since the agreement means accession to an international convention, the agreement must now be submitted to the Brazilian Parliament for ratification. The signing of the agreement followed the unanimous approval by the ESO Council during an extraordinary meeting on 21 December 2010.
"Joining ESO will give new impetus to the development of science, technology and innovation in Brazil as part of the considerable efforts our government is making to keep the country advancing in these strategic areas," says Rezende.
The European Southern Observatory has a long history of successful involvement with South America, ever since Chile was selected as the best site for its observatories in 1963. Until now, however, no non-European country has joined ESO as a Member State.