Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the opening of the UN General Assembly, in New York, today, alerted the world over the risk of an environmental catastrophe saying that it's necessary to rethink the model of global development.
"We shouldn't deceive ourselves," Lula stated in his speech. "If the global development model is not rethought, the risks of an unprecedented environmental and human catastrophe increase. We need to revert this apparently realistic and sophisticated logic, which is actually anachronic, predatory and senseless, that multiplies profit and wealth at any price."
Lula condemned social injustices and said that the relation between man and nature will not change while these injustices persist. According to the Brazilian president, "If we want to save the common patrimony, we need a new and more equitable sharing of wealth, both inside each country and in the international sphere."
And he went on: "It's not admissible that the heaviest burden of the improvidence of the privileged fall over the dispossessed of the earth. The most industrialized countries should set a good example. It is essential that they meet the commitments established by the Kyoto Protocol. This is not enough however. We need more ambitious goals starting in 2012. And should seriously work so that the acceptance of the protocol becomes universal."
On Monday, Lula met US President, George Bush, when they talked about biofuels, climate change in the world and the dispute between the richest countries and the poor ones over farm subsidies.
This is a transcript of what both presidents said right after the encounter at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York:
PRESIDENT BUSH: It's a pleasure to be with my friend, the President of Brazil. Every time we visit it's always a fruitful and important discussion. We talked about climate change. And I assured the President that the event we're having in Washington – which he kindly is coming to – is an important meeting about reaching international consensus on how to move together on the issue of climate change.
We talked about alternative fuels. Brazil, under President Lula's leadership, is a leading producer of ethanol. And he is an evangelist on the subject. And I appreciate very much his leadership because I believe the United States will benefit from ethanol. So I look forward to working with you. And I want to thank you for your leadership in Haiti.
And finally, we had a good discussion on Doha. We share a commitment to a successful round of trade talks. And I assured the President that the United States would show flexibility, particularly on agricultural goods in order to help achieve a breakthrough. So I want to thank you for the conversation. It's a joy being with you.
PRESIDENT LULA: First of all, I would like to thank for the opportunity once again to be here with President Bush and with members of his Cabinet. Secondly, we are convinced that on the climate change and the Doha Round we're still dependent on some factors. And one of these factors is the willingness of an important country like the U.S. demonstrating its capability to be flexible.
And President Bush has demonstrated the willingness to reach an agreement – in the many different conversations that we have had he has demonstrated very clearly his willingness, and the U.S. is willing to be more flexible. And he's also willing to discuss with all countries on climate change.
And this has been Brazil's position. We are convinced that the Doha Round is a need, it's something that is a necessity for the rich and for the poor countries. And we'll be – the rich and the developing countries give their contribution for the less developed countries.
And at the same time, the climate issue is an issue that involves all the human beings on the planet Earth. So all of us, we share responsibility to take care of the planet that we will leave for our grandsons and for our grand grandsons. We don't want to try to find who to put the blame on or who is innocent. What matters is that everybody has to take care of the planet, because if we don't take of the planet Earth we will all have something to lose.
I once again told President Bush that Brazil is willing to do its share on the climate issue and also to cope with what we have to cope with, from the deforestation of the Rain Forest in the Amazon, which we managed to reduce in 52 percent. And on the Doha Round, Brazil is willing to do whatever is necessary so that we can reach a deal.
If we manage to convince important countries like China, India, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico, plus the European Union and Japan, I think that we can in the next phase announce good measures as related to the Doha Round, as also on the climate change.
So what we are demonstrating is that the issue exists. No one has a definite solution. We are just in a learning process on how to cope with this issue. And we all want to do our homework.
The demonstration of the political will President Bush has, and myself, is we're sending a signal that no one owns the truth; everybody knows a little bit, and doesn't know so much a little bit, too, so we want together to add up our knowledge so that we can find the best solutions.