"The path to Bali passes through BrasÀlia (capital of Brazil)". The statement made by the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, and repeated by the Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, reveals the main subject of the first visit that the UN chief pays to Brazil since he took the position, in January.
The island of Bali, in Indonesia, will host, in December, the UN Conference on Climate Change. To Ban, Brazil plays a key role in this matter, as the country is a "green giant, a leader" due to its natural wealth and its outstanding projects for environmental preservation, such as biofuel and combat to deforestation in the Amazon.
A native of South Korea, Ban arrived in Brazil on Sunday, November 11, in the afternoon, and got to know an ethanol production plant in the city of Jaboticabal, in the interior of the southeastern Brazilian state of São Paulo. Yesterday, November 12, he went to Brasília, where he met with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and minister Celso Amorim.
In addition to environmental issues, the president and the secretary discussed the reform processes of UN and of the organization's Security Council. According to Amorim, Lula brought up the matter and stated that the council cannot remain with the same structure that it had at the time of its establishment, in 1945.
Brazil aspires to a permanent seat in the council of the international organization. "President Lula claimed that the situation cannot remain the same any longer, or else the UN itself is going to become discredited, because it is not possible that 65 years after its creation, the council remains the same, given that the current geopolitical context is completely different," said the minister.
President Lula also talked about the Brazilian proposal in the last UN Climate Change Conference, in Nairobi (capital of Kenya), of granting incentives to countries – especially the poorer ones – that promote actions for combating deforestation.
They also discussed hunger combat, and according to Amorim, the UN secretary-general praised Brazil for the Millennium Development Goals that it has already achieved.
Late in the afternoon, Ban left from Brasília to the northeastern Brazilian state of Pará to get acquainted with projects for combating deforestation in the Amazon.