Brazil’s Lula to Colleagues: ‘Grab the Phone and Call US and EU Leaders’

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva appealed to other Mercosur leaders to press the rich nations to end their agricultural subsidies, financial or indirect assistance given to farmers.

According to Lula, this agricultural assistance from the rich countries harm the poorer countries, because they artificially enable European, US, and Japanese agricultural goods to compete with what is produced in developing countries.

"I think that each of the Mercosur presidents could grab the phone and call one of his counterparts in Europe and the United States, for us to begin to apply pressure, because, otherwise, all of us will spend 20 more years watching the poor get poorer and the rich get richer," he said, during his participation at the 29th Mercosur Summit meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay, on Friday, December 9.

The end of agricultural subsidies will be one of the main topics on the agenda of the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), scheduled for December 13-18, in Hong Kong.

Last week, in telephone conversations with US president George W. Bush and British prime minister Tony Blair, the Brazilian president suggested a meeting among heads of State of rich and poor countries to find a way out of the negotiating impasse on this matter in the WTO.

In Lula’s opinion, the question should be discussed by the presidents of the countries, not their advisors. "This decision is so important that it shouldn’t be just another decision for our technical staffers or ministers to make. It should be handled by the presidents."

He went on to say: "It is not possible that in a decision of this magnitude, affecting the fates of millions and millions of human beings, many of them without any power to take part in multilateral organizations, most of all the WTO, they will not be dealt with through a humanitarian, solidary trade policy on the part of the rich countries vis-à-vis the emerging countries."

President Lula’s original idea was for the meeting to take place before the WTO ministerial meeting. Now the plan is for the heads of State to get together in January. The President said he intends to speak to the governments of Germany and France about the proposal too.

Agência Brasil

Tags:

You May Also Like

New Braskem: a Brazilian Petrochemical Giant Is Born

Petrobras and Odebrecht, two Brazilian companies announced the purchase of Unipar’s share of the ...

Bus and Education Push Brazilian Inflation Up

Brazil’s Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA) rose 0.41% in February, less than the 0.59% ...

Angra 3, Brazil's third nuclear plant

Brazil Comes Back to the Nuclear Table

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has given the green light to build ...

Brazilian President Improves His Chances of Reelection

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva maintains an edge over his rivals in the ...

IDB to Hold Its Next Annual Assembly in Brazil

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva received the president of the Inter-American Development ...

Subsidies Are Bound to Hurt US and EU, Says Brazil’s Diplomat

According to Brazilian retired diplomat Rubens Ricúpero, the former secretary general of the UN ...

Lula Takes Retinue of Brazilian Industry Heavyweights to Middle East

The current visit of Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to the Middle ...

26,000 Private College Openings in Brazil Reserved to Blacks

Brazilian students eligible under quotas favoring the handicapped, blacks, mulattoes, and Indians should be ...

Brazil: Brasí­lia Declaration Defends Falklands Talks

One of the issues mentioned in the BrasÀ­lia Declaration, document with the conclusions of ...

Brazil: Lula Down, Inflation Fears Up

A new poll by the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics shows that ...