Statement by H.E. Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva,
President of the Federative Republic of Brazil,
at the General Debate of the 61st Session of the
United Nations General Assembly.
New York, 19 September 2006.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When I first took the floor from this rostrum in 2003, I stressed the need for urgent and relentless action to fight the scourge of hunger and poverty in the world.
This is what we are doing in Brazil.
We have combined economic stability with social inclusion policies.
The standard of living of Brazilians has improved. Employment and income have grown. The purchasing power of the minimum wage has increased.
Our resources are scarce, but even so we have achieved surprising results.
The 'Family Stipend', at the core of our 'Zero Hunger' program, assures a basic income to over 11 million Brazilian families.
Well-fed people can enhance their dignity, their health and their learning capacity.
Putting resources into social programs is not expenditure. It is investment.
If with so little we have done so much in Brazil, imagine what could have been done on a global scale, if the fight against hunger and poverty were a real priority for the international community.
Where there is hunger there is no hope. There is only desolation and pain. Hunger nurtures violence and fanaticism. A world where people starve will never be safe.
The sheer size of the task will not daunt us, especially if we are not alone. All here know that some 840 million human beings - nearly one out of seven in the planet
- do not have enough to eat.
50 billion additional dollars each year are needed to reach the Millennium Development Goals on time. The international community can afford it.
On the positive side, just think, for instance, of the hundreds of billions of dollars invested to move forward the full integration of Eastern European countries into the European Union.
On the other hand, think of the cost of wars and other conflicts. All here know that that the second Gulf War may also have cost hundreds of billions of dollars to date.
With much less we could change the sad reality of a large share of the world's
population. We could alleviate the plight of these people and lift them out of destitution. We could save millions of lives.
Even strong as they are today, rich countries should have no illusion: nobody is safe in a world of injustices.
War will never bring security.
War can only generate monsters: bitterness, intolerance, fundamentalism, and the damaging denial of current hegemonies.
The poor must be given reasons to live, not to kill or die. Peoples' greatness lies not in bellicosity, but in humanism. And there is no true humanism without respect for the other.
There are, actually, those different from us, but not less dignified for this reason, not less precious, not entitled to a lesser right to happiness, creatures as we are from the same creator.
There will only be security in a world where all have the right to economic and social
development. The true path to peace is shared development.
If we do not want war to go global, justice must go global.
This is why, with the serene conviction of a man who has dedicated his life to fight
peacefully for the rights of the working people, I say to you: the search for a new world order, fairer and more democratic, it is not only in poor countries' or in emerging nations' interest.
It is also or even more in rich countries' interest, as long as they have eyes to watch and ears to hear, as long as they do not make the mistake of ignoring the hideous cry of the excluded.
We have seen some progress in the last few years. At the Meeting of World Leaders in 2004, we launched the 'Action against Hunger and Poverty'.
Together, we were able to achieve a strong international engagement around this issue. Our collective efforts have begun to bear fruit.
We are putting into practice innovative mechanisms such as a 'solidarity levy on
international air tickets.
Hunger and disease walk hand-in-hand.
We have therefore undertaken, together with other Governments, the creation of an
International Drug Purchase Facility to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
This initiative will provide new sources of funds and facilitate access to medicine at lower costs. We cannot shirk from our duties.
I salute the leaders of vision engaged in this war. The war against the debasement of
human beings and hopelessness.
This is the only war in which final victory will mean a triumph for all of humanity.
The fight against hunger and poverty is also predicated on the creation of a world order that accords priority to social and economic development.
There will only be permanent solutions to destitution when poorer countries are able to advance through their own efforts.
Once International Trade is free and fair, it will be a valuable tool for generating wealth, distributing income and creating jobs.
It is essential that we break the bonds of protectionism.
Subsidies granted by richer countries, particularly in agriculture, are oppressive shackles that hold back progress and doom poor countries to backwardness.
Time and again I must repeat that while trade-distorting support in developed countries amounts to the outrageous sum of 1 billion dollars a day, 900 million people get by on less that a dollar a day in both poor and developing countries.
This situation is politically and morally untenable.
The only thing worse than inaction stemming from ignorance is neglect rooted in accommodation.
The old geography of international trade must be profoundly reshaped.
Together with its partners in the G-20, Brazil is engaged in this task.
This year Lula da Silva has replaced Bolsonaro ...
Guterres Proposes New Global Institutions Based on Equity
The UN Secretary-General acknowledged that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were born in 1945, a time when many countries lived under colonial rule.
In his address at the outset of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday, the UN Secretary Antonio Guterres proposed "renewing international institutions for the 21st century" grounded in "equity, solidarity, and universality."
In a world marred by divisions - among economic and military powers, between the North and the South, and between the East and the West - there is no alternative but to reform these institutions, lest we face "further fragmentation," he warned, adding that this won't be easy because "reforms are a matter of power."
Guterres started by acknowledging that the United Nations, the World Bank (WB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were born in 1945, a time when many present-day countries lived under colonial rule.
"The world has changed; our institutions haven't," he summarized, explaining that they are not effectively addressing the issue of growing divisions, which are not limited to countries or blocs but are also emerging within democracies, where "authoritarianism is on the rise."
He cited numerous global hotspots grappling with multidimensional crises - the Sahel, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Myanmar, Palestine, or Syria - coupled with natural disasters, demonstrating that "the global humanitarian system is on the brink of collapse."
Next, Guterres emphasized that inequality fuels discontent: "If we don't feed the hungry, we are feeding conflict," he stated, highlighting that the best weapon against conflicts is to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Lula points the finger at developed nations in UN return
Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva opened the floor to world leaders Tuesday with his opening address to the UN 78th General Assembly where he stressed the need to raise efforts against inequality and global challenges. [Source: Lula addresses inequality | TRT World |
The leftist president addressed pressing subjects threatening global stability, focusing on inequality and climate change and their disproportionate effects on developing countries.
"Brazil is back. Our country is back to make its two contributions in facing the major global," he said.
The Brazilian leader returned to the UN after 14 years. His presence at the assembly also marks 20 years since his first remarks in 2003, where Lula addressed the looming threat of climate change and the need for immediate action.
"I maintain my unshakable trust in humanity. At that time, the world had not yet realized the severity of the climate crisis. Today, it knocks on our doors, destroys our homes, our cities, our countries, kills and imposes loss and suffering on our brothers, especially the poorest," he said.
Lula said at its core, inequality was the prevalent culprit of environmental, economic, and social trials. He lamented that 735 million people worldwide are facing daily food insecurity and pointed his finger at the current state of wealth distribution and its effect on the future.
"The 10 richest billionaires have more wealth than the poorest 40% of humanity. The destiny of every child born in this world seems to be decided while they are still in their mother's womb. The part of the world where their parents live and the social class their family belongs to will determine whether or not that child will have opportunities throughout life," he said.
Lula also criticized governments for their unwillingness to end inequality, a point he has illustrated in the past, condemning wealthier nations for funneling resources for war instead of promoting social causes.
His criticisms were directed to the UN when he pointed out that the Security Council had failed to take a stand against some permanent members who have "wage unauthorized wars."
Lula demanded the ongoing war in Ukraine end through peaceful means.
"The war in Ukraine exposes our collective inability to enforce purposes and principles of the UN charter," he said. "No solution will be lasting if it is not based on dialogue."
Speech by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the G77 + China Summit in Cuba
Lula tells Macron that New Environmental Requirements of the EU-Mercosur Agreement Are 'Offensive'
Brazilian president once again criticized the additional term presented by the bloc as a condition for concluding the commercial treaty
In conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) stated that the new environmental demands from Europeans to close the 2019 trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur were "offensive" and "inadmissible".
In March of this year, the bloc presented an additional term (side letter) with new environmental demands that go beyond those determined by the Paris Agreement and now include sanctions for alleged non-compliance with targets.
Lula had already criticized the demands in public and in a conversation with the French president in June, characterizing the measures as "threats".
The Brazilian leader returned to the spotlight in a bilateral meeting with Macron on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi. And he told the French president that, at this moment, it is a political decision for the EU to return to the original text. In the Brazilian government's view, the demands were designed for the government of former president Jair Bolsonaro, which was accumulating setbacks in environmental policy and would not be fair in the context of the Lula government.
According to reports from authorities present in the conversation, Macron said he understood the Brazilian complaint but pointed out that it was a decision within the scope of the European Commission.
MERCOSUR and the European Union have been in negotiations towards a bi-regional free trade area since April 2000
Since 1995, MERCOSUR-EU relations have been guided by the EU-MERCOSUR Framework Cooperation Agreement, signed on 15 December 1995 and fully in force as of 1 July 1999. The agreement currently under negotiation consists of three parts: the political dialogue; trade and economic issues and cooperation. The scope and objectives of the agreement were agreed upon at the first negotiating round in April 2000 then at the Madrid Summit of May 2002.