The International Celso Furtado Center for Development Policies was a proposal by the then President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva, at the opening session of the 11th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad XI), held in São Paulo, on June 14th, 2004. The idea that Brazil could have an institution, bringing together the brightest minds committed to development and the up-to-date thinking of Celso Furtado, gained immediate support from researchers and social scientists from around the world.
In his reply to President Lula, the economist Celso Furtado reminded that Brazil is one of the most endowed nations in terms of development potential, and that its role should be, therefore, one of leadership in the fight against underdevelopment. To this fight, he dedicated the best of his intellectual creativeness and his performance as a public figure, both in Brazil and abroad. Preserving his vast legacy, and adapting it to the realities we face at the beginning of this new century, is the responsibility and commitment assumed by the Celso Furtado Center. This is the best tribute we can make to this great personality – the synthesis of a people`s efforts to control its own destiny.
On September 8th, 2005, the Celso Furtado Center Project was presented to the delegates at the Helsinki Conference. The manifesto announced at that time became the founding document, which, through 16 points, clearly set out and summarized the principles and objectives of the Celso Furtado Center.
On November 22nd, 2005, the first General Assembly of the Celso Furtado Center was held, and its Statutes and Board of Directors chosen. These included, Luiz Gonzaga Belluzzo, as institutional president, Maria da Conceição Tavares (later substituted by Ricardo Carneiro), as academic president, Rosa Freire d’Aguiar Furtado, as cultural president, and directors Hildete Pereira de Melo, Carlos Tibúrcio and Claúdio Salm (later substituted by Carlos Pinkusfeld Bastos).
In September 2009, the Center`s partners, at a General Assembly, approved a revision of the statutes and elected a new Board of Directors, now composed of a CEO and four directors. At the time, Luiz Carlos Delorme Prado was elected as CEO, and Rosa Freire d’Aguiar Furtado, Carlos Tibúrcio, Fábio Stefano Erber and Antonio Correa de Lacerda as directors.