Lula draws attention to war and poverty in UNGA speech

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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva highlighted the issues of inequality and the climate crisis in his address during the annual UN General Assembly in New York. He expressed concern that the international community has become desensitized to its obligation to support impoverished populations worldwide.

Lula stressed that “Brazil is reencountering itself, the region, the world and multilateralism. As I never tire of saying, Brazil is back. Our country is back to give our due contribution to face the world’s primary challenges.”

Lula called on wealthy nations to fulfil their commitments related to clean energy and international climate funding, arguing that the current $100 billion funding plan falls short. He emphasized the importance of adopting socially equitable and environmentally sustainable models, despite facing criticism for his administration’s investments in fossil fuels, including potential offshore drilling projects. Since his return to the Brazilian presidency, Lula has actively positioned himself as a climate advocate and global leader on environmental issues. He highlighted the significant reduction in Amazon deforestation under his leadership, contrasting it with the environmentally damaging policies of his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro.

Lula told the U.N. that his government would continue to speak out against the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. He also called for the peaceful resolution of the war in Ukraine through dialogue and criticized military spending. Lula said the continued conflict in Ukraine was evidence of the loss of credibility of the U.N. Security Council, and he slammed multilateral institutions for failing to advance global peace and reduce poverty.

He also attacked the International Monetary Fund for not representing poor countries and the World Trade Organization for not averting increased protectionism in the world. “Inequalities need to inspire outrage – outrage over hunger, poverty, war and disrespect for human beings. Moved by the power of outrage, we may act willingly and unwaveringly in fighting inequality and effectively transforming the world around us,” the Brazilian president said in the conclusion of his speech.

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