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Lula Identifies How BRICS New Development Bank Will Become the ‘Great Bank of the Global South’

April 13, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Brazilian President Lula da Silva’s speech in Shanghai today at the investiture ceremony of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as president of the New Development Bank (NDB), charts a course for the BRICS New Development Bank to now fulfill its original mission: to provide substantial development credit, free of IMF conditionalities, an alternative to the dying trans-Atlantic financial system, so that poverty can be eliminated, people fed, and countries develop all across the world. Appropriately, it is Rousseff, the former President of Brazil whom Wall Street and London ordered thrown out of office in a de facto coup in 2016 (a task directed by the U.S. Department of Justice), who will now take the lead in this mission. In his prepared speech delivered at the ceremony, Lula elaborated:

“The decision to create this bank was a milestone in the joint action of emerging countries. Given their size, the size of their populations, the weight of their economies, and the influence they exert in their regions and in the world, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa could not remain oblivious to major international issues.

“The unmet financing needs of developing countries were and remain enormous....

“For the first time, a development bank with global reach is established without the participation of developed countries in its initial phase. Free, therefore, from the shackles of conditionalities imposed by traditional institutions on emerging economies. And more: with the possibility of financing projects in local currency.

“The creation of this Bank shows that the unity of emerging countries is capable of generating relevant social and economic changes for the world. We do not want to be better than anyone else. We want the opportunity to expand our potential, and to guarantee dignity, citizenship, and quality of life for our people.

“Therefore, besides continuing to work for the effective reform of the UN, the IMF, and the World Bank, and for changing the trade rules, we need to creatively use the G20 (which Brazil will chair in 2024) and the BRICS (which we will lead in 2025) in order to reinforce the priority themes for the developing world in the international agenda.

“The New Development Bank has great transformative potential, as it frees emerging countries from submission to traditional financial institutions, which want to govern us, without having a mandate to do so.

“The BRICS bank has already attracted four new members: Bangladesh, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay. Several others are in the process of joining, and I am sure that the arrival of President Dilma will contribute to this process....

“For all these reasons, the New Development Bank meets all the conditions to become the great bank of the Global South....

“It is intolerable, that on a planet that produces enough food to meet the needs of all humanity, hundreds of millions of men, women, and children have nothing to eat. It is inadmissible that the irresponsibility and greed of a small minority endanger the survival of the planet and of all humanity....”

In separate remarks to a big roundtable meeting later with officials at the NDB, Lula questioned the hegemonic role of the dollar even more bluntly, which clearly got the goat of London and Wall Street. The Financial Times labeled him a “leftist ... lend[ing] his voice to Beijing;” while Bloomberg charged that Lula is “supporting China’s crusade against U.S. global dominance just as he prepares to meet with President Xi Jinping.” The part of Lula’s remarks which upset them was reported by the Financial Times thusly:

“ ‘Every night I ask myself why all countries have to base their trade on the dollar,’ Lula said in an impassioned speech at the New Development Bank in Shanghai, known as the ‘BRICS bank.’ ‘Why can’t we do trade based on our own currencies?’ he added, drawing loud applause from the audience of Brazilian and Chinese dignitaries. ‘Who was it that decided that the dollar was the currency after the disappearance of the gold standard?’ ”

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