By Willy Delvalle, DCM correspondent in Belgium
President Lula’s speech at the opening of the CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States)-European Union Summit projected him as a leader for global justice. The European Union, Russia, the UN Security Council and the rich poor as a whole were the target of his criticism. The Brazilian head of state positioned himself in several aspects as a spokesman for the claims of groups dominated by the structure of global politics.
For Latin America, Lula claimed its insertion in the formation of a “new nascent multipolar order”.
He denounced the discrimination that Latin America is the target of in the global order, at the same time that he demanded relations that revert this situation.
“We need a partnership that puts an end to an international division of labor that condemns Latin America and the Caribbean to the supply of raw materials and migrant, poorly paid and discriminated labor.”
He demanded that the European Union participate in reducing the injustices that the subcontinent is the target of.
“With Europe, we share a long history and economic and social ties. Cooperation between the two regions must reflect the realities and priorities on both sides of the Atlantic”.
“For Latin America and the Caribbean, this translates into a clear focus on reducing inequalities and eradicating hunger and poverty. We have to find ways to overcome asymmetries in economic and social development. Resource mobilization and investment initiatives are welcome and should include technology transfer and real integration of production chains.”
“In addition to fundamental trade agreements, this CELAC-European Union Summit represents an important step towards the world we dream of, a more solidary, more fraternal and less unequal world, which we will not be (able) to build alone”.
Lula brought Latin America closer to the European Union in relation to the threats hanging over minorities, largely due to extremism and disinformation.
“Our regions are threatened by political extremism, manipulation of information, violence that attacks and silences minorities. There is no democracy without respect for diversity, without considering the rights of women, blacks, indigenous people, LGBTQI+, the poor, immigrants.”
Claiming the rights of these groups sets him apart from other leaders who try to present themselves as spokespersons for the interests of the global South, such as China or Russia, whose presidency is hostile to the LGBTQI+ community or feminism.
The gesture also challenges the rising xenophobia in Europe, which results in the rise of the extreme right in several countries, such as Italy, Finland and Sweden, the latter two former traditional social democrats.
The president of Brazil also voiced the criticisms of the Mercosur member countries to the requirements of the additional letter presented this year by the European Union, which provides for sanctions on countries that “fail to comply” with international environmental treaties.
“The conclusion of the Mercosur-European Union agreement is a priority and must be based on mutual trust and not on threats. The defense of environmental values, which we all share, cannot be an excuse for protectionism.”
Ukraine and UN Security Council
President Lula criticized BRICS partner Russia for the War in Ukraine. At the same time, the conflict reveals to the Brazilian head of state the ineffectiveness of current global governance.
“The war in Ukraine is further confirmation that the United Nations Security Council is not meeting the current challenges of peace and security. Its own members do not respect the UN Charter.
“We strongly criticize the use of force as a means of resolving disputes. Brazil supports the initiatives promoted by different countries in favor of the immediate cessation of hostilities and a negotiated peace.”
Lula praised the formation of European integration, while pointing to it as a way out of the war in Ukraine.
“Convergence between our regions is not restricted to independence between economies. It also occurs on the plane of values. The European Union is an example of democratic construction. His post-World War II legacy is proof that we can overcome the deepest disagreements when there is political determination around peace.”
Amid the sanctions applied by the rich West to Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, the Brazilian representative also sent a criticism to the global north, for the application of unilateral sanctions, that is, without the UN’s endorsement.
“Resorting to sanctions and blockades, without the protection of international law, only serves to penalize the most vulnerable populations. We need peace to overcome the great challenges that we have before us”.
“Dividing the world into antagonistic blocs would be foolish.”
The petista pointed out the structure of global governance as a source of poverty and domination in the world.
“The current model of global governance perpetuates asymmetries, increases instability and reduces opportunities for developing countries.”
Lula cited the serious situation in Haiti and defended a developmental vision to make a way out of the crisis in the Caribbean country possible.
“Its overcoming will occur with the mobilization of adequate resources for structuring development projects.”
The president announced one of the highlights of the next Brazilian presidency of the G20: “It is urgent to reform global governance. This will be one of the main themes of the Brazilian presidency of the G20. The legitimate concerns of developing countries must be addressed and we need to be adequately represented in decision-making bodies.”
The president of Brazil exposed the environmental negligence of rich countries in relation to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
The principle predicts that the rich countries historically most responsible for climate change contribute financially to those most affected by the consequences of warming, the poor countries. But Lula emphasized that the principle is theoretical.
“Even with all the warning signs issued by the planet, there are still those who deny the climate crisis and even those who do not deny it hesitate to adopt concrete measures. In 2009, rich countries pledged to allocate USD 100 billion a year to developing countries as compensation for the harm they have caused the planet since the industrial revolution. This commitment was never fulfilled.”
“As if that were not enough, the war in the heart of Europe has come to increase hunger and inequality, at the same time that it has raised global military spending.”
“In 2022 alone, instead of killing the hunger of millions of human beings, the world spent 2.240 trillion dollars to feed the war machine that only causes death, destruction and even more hunger.”
This CELAC-European Union Summit is a way of saying ‘another world is possible, it’s up to us to build it with many hands”.
Lula tried to demystify the idea of the Amazon as an “ecological sanctuary”, without making it clear whether this involves large “development” projects or just international investment so that the forest remains standing and part of the inhabitants are not co-opted for its felling.
“The world needs to be concerned about the right to live well for the inhabitants of the Amazon.”
Did Lula present himself as an alterglobalist leader? Probably without questioning the global capitalist economic model, but spreading it by expanding development to poor countries. He acted as a spokesman for more global justice.
In general, journalists and political personalitiesintics consulted by DCM rated the reception as positive.ãto the Brazilian president’s speech and that his beliefsinticas jon were expected, being also one of the motivations of the event.