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Lula Proclaims His ‘Unshakeable Faith in Humanity’ to UN General Assembly

Sept. 19, 2023, (EIRNS)—One of the first things Brazilian President Lula da Silva said in his speech to the UN General Assembly Debate today was to proclaim his “unshakeable confidence in humanity,” as he embarks on tackling the great challenges facing Brazil and the world. The first part of his speech focused on combating inequality, hunger, and misery. Securing a future requires overcoming resignation “which makes us accept such injustice as a natural phenomenon.... Inequality should provoke indignation, indignation with hunger, poverty, war or disrespect for the human being.” Brazil, he said, “is back,” and willing to take on “the major global challenges,” reclaim its foreign policy, but understanding there are simultaneous and multiple crises in which the international community is enmired, the core of which is inequality.

The basis for multilateralism, the sovereign equality among states, is “eroding,” Lula warned. But his strongest remarks were on the BRICS, which he said is growing as a result of the paralysis of institutions such as the IMF and World Bank whose “unacceptable” leadership is characterized by “unequal and distorted” representation. BRICS is a “strategic platform to promote cooperation between emerging countries. The recent expansion of the group at the Johannesburg Summit strengthens the fight for an order, which accommodates the economic, geographic and political plurality of the 21st century. ... We are a force that works towards fairer global trade in a context of a serious crisis in multilateralism.”

He continued:

“Governments need to break away from with the increasing dissonance between the ‘voice of the markets’ and the ‘voice of the streets.’ Neoliberalism has aggravated the economic and political inequality that plagues democracies today. Its legacy is a mass of disfranchised and excluded people.’...

“We need to reclaim the best humanist traditions, which inspired the creation of the UN.”

Lula pointed to the failure in the race to achieve the 2030 Agenda goals—the pace is very slow to reach them in seven years. “The moral and political importance of eradicating poverty and ending hunger appears to have been numbed.”

On energy, Brazil is a leader in energy transition—80% of energy produced is clean: solar, wind, biomass, green hydrogen (no mention of nuclear or advanced technologies). He also went through challenges of the Amazon, the failure of the Western nations to keep promises to developing nations on providing $100 billion in funds for climate mitigation.

Peace in Ukraine is urgent, he said. “There will be no sustainability or prosperity without peace. Armed conflicts are an offense to human rationality. ... Promoting a culture of peace is a duty for us all.” A space for dialogue must be created. He denounced unilateral sanctions, as in the case of Cuba, and also its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, and he referenced many other war zones and horrific crises, including Haiti, Yemen, Libya, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Guinea-Conakry, Mali, Niger and Sudan, etc. “We shall continue to criticize any attempts to divide the world into zones of influence and of reviving the Cold War,” he warned. As for defending freedom of the press, he asserted: “Preserving press freedom is essential. A journalist, like Julian Assange, cannot be punished [for] informing society in a transparent and legitimate way.”

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