Speaking at the annual debate of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, on Tuesday, Brazil’s President Lula da Silva lamented growing global inequalities and discussed his country’s role spearheading climate change diplomacy within the Global South.
The world is becoming increasingly unequal, according to the Brazilian leader. “Immersed in a world of intersecting crises, including COVID-19, security, racism, intolerance, and stable access to food and clean water, more must be done to ensure that inequalities do not continue to grow.”
He highlighted that the ten richest billionaires in the world have more wealth than the poorest 40 per cent of humanity.
“The destiny of every child born on this planet seems to be decided while they’re still in their mother’s womb. The part of the world where their parents live, and the social class their family belongs to, will determine whether or not that child will have opportunities throughout life,” Lula added.
Unequal access to safe and secure food and water, healthcare, education, and employment opportunities all exacerbate inequalities and have been amplified by growing geopolitical tensions, he pointed out.
Lula emphasized the need for urgent, comprehensive international cooperation to avoid a worsening climate crisis.
Brazil hosted the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) summit in August, where eight South American nations met to discuss rainforest protections and the climate crisis.
Additionally, Brazil has decreased deforestation of the Amazon by 48 per cent and has become a leader in the transition to renewable energy, with 87 per cent of Brazil’s electric power coming from renewable sources.
“In Brazil, we have already proven once, and will prove again, that a socially fair and environmentally sustainable model is possible. We are at the forefront of energy transition, and our matrix is already one of the cleanest in the world,” said the president.
The Brazilian leader is scheduled to meet with US President Joe Biden at the UNGA to address the growing climate crisis.
As tensions grow between China and the United States, and as war continues to rage in Ukraine, Lula said his government has avoided explicit support for Beijing, Moscow, or Washington. His country has refused militarily backing Ukraine but is joined by a number of nations calling for peace talks.
“Armed conflicts are an offense to human rationality. We know the horrors and suffering produced by all wars. Promoting a culture of peace is a duty for all of us,” he said.