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Brazzil - Foreign Policy - September 2003
 

Brazil's Lula: At the UN, decrying US and EU's hypocrisy

In his 15-minute address to the UN General Assembly, Brazilian
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will speak about the role of
the United Nations in resolving international disputes and conflicts.
He will also emphasize the need for the richer nations to
assist poorer countries in their fight against hunger.

Germano Neves

 

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who starts his official visit to the US this Monday, will have a busy four-day schedule in the United States while in New York for the opening of the 58th session of the UN General Assembly. Tuesday, Lula will be making the opening speech to the meeting to be followed by US President George W. Bush, and presidents Alexandre Toledo from Peru and Jacques Chirac from France.

In his 15-minute address, the Brazilian President will speak about the role of the United Nations in resolving international disputes and conflicts. He will also emphasize the need for the richer nations to assist poorer countries in their fight against hunger.

Lula, who arrived Sunday night at the JFK airport, will be participating in a conference about terror Monday morning, before joining UN secretary general Kofi Annan for lunch. After lunch, the Brazilian President is expected to meet French President Jacques Chirac.

While in New York, Lula, who will be staying at the posh Waldorf Astoria, will be four times with UN general secretary Kofi Annan and he will also meet the leaders of Russia, France, Germany, Mozambique and Algeria. It's expected that Lula will be received by President Bush, but such an encounter hasn't been scheduled yet.

The Brazilian leader will also be meeting several labor union and business leaders from the US. Lula should be present at the opening of the Forum Brazil-India-South Africa, which will discuss strategies to increase economic and cultural cooperation between the three countries.

Traveling with the president are ministers Guido Mantega (Planning), Dilma Rousseff (Mines and Energy), Luiz Fernando Furlan (Foreign Commerce), Marco Aurélio Garcia (International Affairs), José Graziano (Food Safety), Humberto Costa (Health), and Gilberto Gil (Culture). Presidential spokesman, André Singer and the president's general secretary, Luiz Dulci, are also part of the retinue. Some of the aides will be holding meetings parallel to those of the President.

On Thursday, Lula, who is traveling without First Lady, Marisa, flies to Mexico where he will hold talks with authorities there on economic integration among Latin American countries. The Brazilian President will end his trip with a visit to Fidel Castro on the 26th. In Cuba, Lula is expected to sign several cooperation agreements with the Havana regime. This is Lula's 18th foreign trip since he became president January 1st.

Homage to Mello

The United Nations General Assembly opened its 58th annual session on September 16 with a minute of silence in memory of the 22 members of its staff killed in the terrorist attack in Baghdad. The Assembly's president, Julian Robert Hunte, paid a special homage to Brazilian Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the top UN envoy in Iraq, and added, "I believe the United Nations should remain focused on its objectives in Iraq—to facilitate the restoration of peace and security, to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the restoration of sovereignty to the people of Iraq. This would be the most fitting tribute to the sacrifice and hard work of Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello and his colleagues."

Hypocrisy

Talking in Dubai, on Sunday, to the annual conference of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Brazilian Finance Minister, Antônio Palocci, accused the United States and other First World countries of maintaining protectionist practices, which are seen by the poorer countries as "an intolerable hypocrisy."

Anticipating what Lula is expected to say at the UN, Palocci declared, "The international community needs to adopt as priority the elimination of distorted subsidies." Such practices, according to the minister, "threaten the world system of trade, especially in agriculture and other work intensive exports in which the developing countries conquered the hard way competitive advantage."

"These practices are unfair to the industrialized countries consumers and contributors and are seen as an intolerable hypocrisy by the poor citizens of the developing world, who, after having heard the preaching of the rich and having accepted the need of making sacrifices to increase their productivity, see their gains hindered by protectionism."

 









 
 
 







 



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