Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, called yesterday, September 25, at the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations, in New York, for developing countries to work together to fight global warming.
"Brazil proposed in Nairobi the adoption of economic and financial investment to stimulate the reduction of deforestation on a global scale. We must equally expand South-South cooperation, without forgetting to adopt innovative models of joint action with developing nations.
"This way, we will bring concrete sense to the principle of common, but differentiated responsibilities. Integrated political treatment of the entire environmental agenda is very important," stated the president of Brazil.
At the end of 2006, Lula proposed, during the Conference of Parties about the Climate, in Nairobi, Kenya, the creation of a fund to stimulate actions to fight deforestation and burning in the developing world. Lula's address at the opening of the UN meeting was an appeal to the world to adopt measures that stop the advance of global warming.
The Brazilian president stated that developed nations must give the example and comply with their agreements in the Kyoto Protocol. But he also called attention to the need of developing nations doing their part. "Developing nations must also participate in the fight against climate change," said Lula.
The Brazilian president claimed that there is need to establish more ambitious targets for environmental preservation after 2012. According to Lula, Brazil is soon going to launch its National Project to Fight Climate Change.
He recalled that in recent years Brazil has reduced deforestation of the Amazon by half and that the country does not abdicate, in any hypothesis, its sovereignty and responsibilities regarding the Amazon.
The results, said Lula, are fruit of greater and greater presence of the Brazilian state in the forest, promoting sustainable development – economic, social, educational and cultural – of the over 20 million inhabitants in the region.
"I am sure that our experience in the matter may be useful to other countries," said Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The president added that the world needs to adopt a new energy matrix and that biofuels are vital to build it.
Brazil is the main producer of ethanol, a clean fuel made from sugarcane in the country, which is being adopted by several countries to reduce emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere.
Lula recalled that apart from reducing greenhouse gas emissions, biofuels may be a social solution to several impoverished regions of the world.
"Ethanol and biodiesel may open excellent opportunities for over a hundred poor countries in Latin America, Asia and, most of all, Africa," he said.
Apart from providing energy autonomy without the need for great investment, production of biofuels, according to Lula, may generate jobs and income and favor family agriculture. Biofuels are made from plants, as is the case with ethanol, made from maize and cane, and biodiesel, made, for example, from soy.
The Brazilian president also added that Brazil intends to organize an international conference about the matter in 2008 to launch the bases of global cooperation in the area.
He also proposed the organization, in 2012, in Brazil, of a new United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, like the Rio-92, which took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Lula also spoke about the needs for creation of a new international order, where developing countries may have more space. Lula was referring to the increase in the number of members of the Security Council of the UN, in which Brazil and other developing nations desire a seat.
He recalled that Brazil has been working for the creation of this new world order, promoting South-South cooperation. "We have been working to bring the people of the region closer together, powering political dialogue and economic exchange with the Arab, African and Asian countries, without abdicating our traditional partners," said Lula in New York.
Apart from participating in the UN General Assembly, the Brazilian president had meetings with other heads of state. Yesterday he met with the president of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, with the president of Indonesia, Susilo Yudhoyono, and with the president of France, Nicholas Sarkozy.
Lula also told reporters that for the first time ever, the Doha round is close to reaching a conclusion. He also claimed to be convinced that the agreement shall be closed still this year.
"There has already been a change in the behavior of Bush (George W. Bush, president of the United States), and I sense that Europe is showing greater flexibility now," said the Brazilian president.
The statements were made to the press in front of the official residence of the head of the Brazilian mission at the United Nations (UN), Maria Luíza Viotti, in New York, where Lula attended the 62nd UN General Assembly.
Obstacles to the advancement of the negotiation round include the reduction of agricultural subsidies granted by the United States, and the reduction of import tariffs on the industrial sector by developing countries.
Lula had also a meeting with Bush that lasted more than an hour, and the Doha round was among the subjects discussed. "The United States are willing to be more flexible, and that is very important," he stated.
To the president of Brazil, the negotiations must come to an end before the presidential elections in the United States, which should be held next year. "The world cannot await the elections in the United States," said Lula.