Traditionally, Brazil has been a leader in the inter-American community and has played an important role in collective security efforts, as well as in economic cooperation in the Western Hemisphere. Brazil supported the Allies in both World Wars. During World War II, its expeditionary force in Italy played a key role in the Allied victory at Monte Castello. It is a party to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty) and a member of the Organization of American States (OAS). Recently, Brazil has given high priority to expanding relations with its South American neighbors and is a founding member of the Amazon Pact, the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI), and Mercosul (Mercosur in Spanish), an imperfect customs union including Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil. Along with Argentina, Chile, and the United States, Brazil is one of the guarantors of the Peru-Ecuador peace process. Brazil is a charter member of the United Nations and participates in many of its specialized agencies. It has contributed troops to UN peacekeeping efforts in the Middle East, the former Belgian Congo, Cyprus, Mozambique, Angola, and most recently East Timor. Brazil has been a member of the UN Security Council four times, most recently 1998-2000.

As Brazil's domestic economy has grown and diversified, the country has become increasingly involved in international politics and economics. The United States, western Europe, and Japan are primary markets for Brazilian exports and sources of foreign lending and investment. Brazil has also bolstered its commitment to nonproliferation through ratification of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), signing a fullscale nuclear safeguard agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), acceeding to the Treaty of Tlatelolco, and becoming a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Disputes - international: two short sections of boundary with Uruguay are in dispute - Arroio Invernada (Arroyo de la Invernada) area of the Rio Quarai (Rio Cuareim) and the islands at the confluence of the Rio Quarai and the Uruguay River

Illicit drugs: limited illicit producer of cannabis, minor coca cultivation in the Amazon region, mostly used for domestic consumption; government has a large-scale eradication program to control cannabis; important transshipment country for Bolivian, Colombian, and Peruvian cocaine headed for the United States and Europe; increasingly used by traffickers as a way station for narcotics air transshipments between Peru and Colombia; upsurge in drug-related violence and weapons smuggling.

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