Before a multinational audience composed of entrepreneurs and heads of state attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva once again asked all countries to commit themselves to the global war on hunger and poverty.
Lula participated, January 28, in one of the Forum’s sessions, entitled “Funding the War on Poverty.” The president of Microsoft, Bill Gates, British Treasury Secretary, Gordon Brows, and the Italian Minister of Economy, Domenico Siniscalco, joined Lula on the dais.
Lula called for an end to the agricultural subsidies granted to local producers and entrepreneurs in the rich countries.
“It is necessary to establish policies that enable poor countries to sell and produce agricultural products. This is a structural question,” the President alerted.
The President recalled the advance represented by the committment assumed last September in New York by various national leaders at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. According to the President, at the time a proposal was made to create a fund financed by taxing arms sales.
“It could be [a tax] on commercial transactions, money derived from tax havens, something robust and intended for the poor countries,” Lula suggested.
“The name of the fund is immaterial, what matters is for us to assume the commitment that a small share of the money that circulates in the world be used to constitute a large fund so that we can dream of a more just world 20 or 30 years from now,” he declared.
Lula had already called on foreign entrepreneurs to contribute 0.01% of all their financial investments to the campaign against global hunger and extreme poverty. A minimal rate of 0.01% would provide US$ 17 billion per year.
Translation: David Silberstein