Continuing a tradition that began with the birth of the United Nations in 1946, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva made the first speech at the opening of the General Assembly.
With reference to terrorism, Lula declared that terrorism cannot be fought exclusively by military means. “We have to develop strategies combining solidarity and firmness that are rigidly within the rule of law,” said the President of Brazil.
He added that Brazil is opposed to “interfering in the affairs of other nations, but at the same time could not remain indifferent to problems that affect other nations.”
As an example of what he was talking about, Lula cited Haiti where Brazil has joined other nations as part of the UN transition and reconstruction mission.
Lula called for changes in multilateral financial organization operations in order to promote what he called just and sustainable growth. He specifically urged new rules for International Monetary Fund financing.
In his speech Lula referred to the Action Against Hunger conference which took place just before the General Assembly, on September 20, which garnered support from no less than 100 countries.
That event, sponsored by Brazil and held at the urging of President Lula, put an international spotlight on Brazil.
He also mentioned the solidarity fund created by Brazil, South Africa and India in 2003, to combat hunger and dire poverty in the world.
He cited a project in Guine-Bissau as the first concrete action plan to be undertaken as part of that tripartite effort.
Lula also talked about the progress made by developing nations in World Trade Organization negotiations, citing the ruling against rich nation farm produce subsidies.
Lula called the G-20 an example of the fight for “trade freedom with social justice” within the framework of the Doha Round of negotiations.