Speaking at the meeting of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of
Globalization, president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared that the strength of
globalization is not being used to solve the problems of hunger and poverty in
The commission is meeting at the UN in New York. It is working on data provided by the International Labor Organization (ILO)which reported, in March, on the negative aspects of globalization and recommended stronger social dialogue, action policies aimed at providing more vulnerable social groups with jobs and political activities to reduce poverty in order to counterbalance those aspects.
Lula pointed out that the ILO report showed that as a result of globalization the distance between the rich and the poor has increased.
“The fact is that the rationale of globalization runs counter to the interests of the majority. The challenges and dilemma of our world calls for integrated solutions and will power,” said the president.
Lula went on to say that there was a need to globalize the ideals of democracy, social justice and development because they were the tools of change. They could resolve the problem of collective security, the threat of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, he declared.
Lula said that although market forces could stimulate production, they do not reduce social inequalities. He called for changes to the international financial system. “Its rules should permit developing nations sufficient room to maneuver so they can build infrastructure, industrial policy and their own technologies,” he said.
According to Lula, a just globalization should begin with jobs. “Decent work has to be available to everybody. But this is something that cannot be used as a pretext for protectionistic clauses in trade treaties which wind up being detrimental to those the treaties are supposed to help,” he declared.
Lula cited the efforts of presidents Jacques Chirac (France), Ricardo Lagos (Chile) and José Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero (Spain), along with the secretary general of the UN, Kofi Annan, to put social inclusion at the top of the international agenda.
In conclusion, Lula called for strengthening the UN and said world leaders had an obligation to engage in the fight against poverty in the world.
“How many times do we have to tell you that the most dangerous weapon of mass destruction in the world is misery?” asked Lula.
Reporter: Carolina Pimentel
Translator: Allen Bennett