Professor of the University of Brasília, Cristovam Ricardo Cavalcanti Buarque was born on February 20, 1944, in the city of Recife, State of Pernambuco. He is married to Gladys Pessoa de Vasconcelos Buarque, and the couple has two daughters, Júlia and Paula.
Senator Buarque graduated from the Federal University of Pernambuco, in Mechanical Engineering, and finished his doctorate in Economy of Development, at the University of Sorbonne, France, in 1973.
He was Dean of the University of Brasília from 1985 through 1988. Between 1995 and 1998, he was Governor of the Federal District of Brazil, when he implemented the Bolsa-Escola Program. He also worked as consultant for several national organizations and international organisms of the United Nations. He was Board Chairman of the UN University for Peace, member of the Presidential Advisory Council that prepared a proposal for the 1988 National Constitution and of the National Food and Nutrition Council headed by Betinho, a famous Brazilian activist in the fight against hunger.
In 2002 he was elected senator for Brasília for the Workers Party (with 30.01% of the valid votes), for a 2003 – 2010 term. In 2003, during President Lula Government, he was Minister of Education. In 2004 he came back to the Federal Senate.
Presently, at the Federal Senate, Senator Cristovam Buarque is the Chairman of the Committee on Education, a full member of the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, of the Human Rights and Participative Legislation Committee, and of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Mercosur. He has also taken part in the Committee on Social Matters and in the Committee on Infrastructure.
Throughout his career, Senator Buarque has fought for issues that benefit the people of Brasília and the nation. The effort to bring education to all and every child of Brazil is a battle he has been fighting ever since he started his public life. Throughout his whole life, indeed, Senator Buarque’s major concerns have been how to improve public education for everyone and especially for those who lack the financial means to attend private schools.
In 2006, Senator Buarque was a candidate in the presidential run and, coherent with his political ideas and principles, he fought for the ideals which are his dreams - a country without any children left out of school. In all television programs and debates people could see him a candidate fighting for education.
His primary issue is education, but Senator Buarque is active on other issues, including defending the rights of workers and strengthening civil right laws. His extensive literary production 22 published books is a written statement of his ideas and ideals, and also include fiction pieces of work.
A distinguished scholar who is also a gifted author, Senator Buarque has written the following works, among many other essays and dictionaries:
. Cortina de ouro: os sustos do final do século e um sonho para o próximo (The Golden curtain: the shocks of the last century and a dream for the one to come); published by Paz e Terra in 1995.
. A eleição de um ditador: uma conspiração perpétua (The election of a dictator: a perpetual conspiration); published by Paz e Terra in 1988.
. Admirável mundo atual: dicionário pessoal dos horrores e esperanças do mundo globalizado (Admirable present world: a personal dictionary of horrors and hopes of the globalized world); published by Geração Editorial, in 2001.
Among Senator Buarque’s extensive list of lectures, the following can be cited:
. On Poverty, Inequality and Vulnerability, World Bank, Guatemala, 2000.
. Lecture on Child Work and Protection: The Search for Solutions, World Bank, Washington, December 2000.
. Conference at the Academie de Latinité: La Civilisation de La Peur, April 2004.
. Conference at the United Nations, New York on The State of Democracy in the World: The eighty Kinds of Peace - Democracy and globalization. March 2005.
. Conference of the Academie de Latinité: Alternatives to the Barbarity. Port-au-Prince, September 2005.
. Conference of the Academie de Latinité. Culture of Difference in Eurasia, Past and Present in the Dialogue of Civilizations: The Three Global Curtains. Baku, April 2006.
. Conference of the Academie de Latinité. The Universal Human rights - A Precondition for a Dialogue of Cultures: The Global Convergence, Amman - Jordan, April, 2007