If you're watching the Brazilian government like a hawk this week, Park Avenue and Pennsylvania avenue are the places to perch -- the country's top political leadership has decamped to New York and Washington for the next few days.

President Dilma Rousseff, who graces the cover of the current Newsweek, is in the Big Apple, where on Wednesday she will become the first female head of state ever to open the United Nations General Assembly.

Source: Newsweek
Newseek Sept. 18th cover story.

The address by Rousseff, who has gotten tough on corruption at home, will focus on women's empowerment, government transparency, the global economic crisis, and the fight against infectious diseases, she said in her weekly radio program. Local press also reported that she will lend Brazil's support to UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

With so much attention on "Dynamite Dilma", as Newsweek now calls her, she will be under pressure to demonstrate whether Brazil can live up to its promise and play a more relevant global role that goes beyond being an agroindustrial powerhouse and a coveted consumer market.

Meanwhile, finance minister Guido Mantega will be in Washington seeking to broker a BRICS bailout solution for debt-wracked Eurozone economies. Last week Mantega said that the loosely-affiliated group of five emerging market economies would "study what to do" in order to help Europe. A Reuters report on Monday sugested that the BRICS nations had already begun to buy debt through the European Financial Stability Facility.

For better or worse, Mantega's outspokeness on the proposal makes it look very much like a Brazilian project -- its success or failure may be associated squarely with Brasilia. But even if he reaches a deal in Washington on Thursday, Mantega might still have some explaining to do when he gets home: people are already asking what business is it of Brazil's to go bailing out fiscally slovenly periphery Europe when there are pressing needs for increased investment in education and infrastructure at home?

And lastly, at the IMF annual meetings, Central Bank governor Alexander Tombini will be making the rounds to explain the regulator's unexpected -- and split -- decision to cut the benchmark Selic interest rate by 50bp earlier this month despite the fact that Brazil's inflation is running way above target, at a current 12-month trailing rate of more than 7 per cent.

In all, a busy week for Brazil on the global stage -- all eyes are on the role that Latin America's largest economy shows itself capable of playing beyond its borders.

The Monday Morning Take is a weekly column. FT Tilt's LatAm bureau chief Vivianne Rodrigues and correspondent Alexander Kliment offer an on-the-ground take on the people, events, companies and markets that matter in Latin America. See all our Monday Morning Takes via this link - you can also subscribe by email.

See also:
Monday Morning Take: Housecleaning in Brazil - FT Tilt
BRIC nations may lend a helping hand to the EU - FT Tilt
Brazil Central Bank cuts rates, risks credibility - FT Tilt