President Lula’s Speech at United Nations General Assembly

The president of Brazil, Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva, presented this statement at the General Debate of the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2009. Below are some highlights from the speech and a link to the full speech transcript in English.

“We cannot shovel away the rubble of failure; we must be the midwives to the future!”

“Three perils haunt our planet: the ongoing economic crisis, the lack of stable, representative world governance and the threat of climate change for all of our lives.”

“Exactly one year ago, at the onset of the crisis that overtook the world economy, I said from this tribune that history would never forgive us for the serious blunder of dealing only with the impacts rather than the causes of the crisis.”

“Rich countries are putting off reform at multilateral agencies like the IMF and the World Bank. We simply cannon understand the paralysis of the Doha Round, whose conclusion will above all benefit poor countries. There are also worrisome signs of return to protectionist practices, while little has been done to fix tax havens.”

“Poor and developing countries must increase their share of control in the IMF and the World Bank. Otherwise, there can be no real change and the peril of new and greater crises will be inevitable.”

“We are in a period of transition in international relations. We are moving towards a multilateral world. However, it is also a multi polar world, based on experiences in regional integration such as South America’s experience in creating UNASUR. This multi polar world will not conflict with the United Nations. On the contrary, it could be an invigorating factor for the United Nations.”

“We are dismayed by the reluctance of the developed countries to shoulder their share of the burden when it comes to fighting climate change. They cannot burden developing countries with tasks which are theirs alone.”

“Brazil is doing its part. We will arrive in Copenhagen with precise alternatives and commitments. We have approved a National Climate Change Plan that includes an 80% cut in deforestation of the Amazon by 2020. We will reduce CO2 emissions by 4.8 billion tons, more than the sum-total of all developed country commitments. In 2009, we can already show the lowest deforestation rate in 20 years.”

“All these concerns are part of the energy policies of a country that is self-sufficient in oil and has just found major reserves that will put us in the forefront of fossil fuel production. Even so, Brazil will not relinquish its environmental agenda and simply turn into an oil giant. We plan to consolidate our role as a world power in green energy.”

Read full speech here.

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