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Statement by H. E. Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva,
President of the Federative Republic of Brazil,
at the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly

New York, September 15, 2055

 

The Millennium DeGoals are a significant achievement of contemporary humanism.

They represent the victory of values of human solidarity over doctrines of moral indifference and political omission towards the excluded.

They show we have achieved a level of collective awareness.

They are rooted in the conviction that we must fight inequalities, while respecting and appreciating diversity.

They materialize that vision of democracy according to which political rights must be indissociable from economic, social and cultural rights.

They underline the need to increase the production of wealth, but making the benefits available to all; never eliminating, but rather protecting and renewing the sources of life.

This will surely require new, more creative and responsible relations by humans with nature and with each other.

The Goals, in short, express the ideal of a civilization in which peace is based on justice.

No other goals are more just or appropriate.

Our challenge is to make them real.

To do so, we need more than routine mechanisms and procedures.

In most countries, the goals will simply not be met, under existing schemes of financing and restrictions on aid flows .

We must take immediate and courageous steps.

The resources available to fight poverty and hunger need to be significantly expanded; we need to provide development opportunities  to poor countries.

If developed countries attain the required strategic vision, they will realize that this new posture, this additional effort is not only fair; it is absolutely necessary.

Otherwise, I fear that international peace and security will remain a mirage.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have always said, and I wish to repeat, that each country must do its own part.

We have strived to implement in Brazil the same measures we have been proposing in the international sphere.

We have no pretension of being a model for others, but we are motivated by great enthusiasm and political resolve.

We have adopted the Millennium Development Goals as mandatory benchmarks for all public policies.

We have establisheda national award to recognize best practices in social solidarity in municipalities, churches, the business sector and social movements.

I would like to highlight initiatives of our government in four areas:

-           the fight against hunger;

-           the right to jobs;

-           the promotion of racial and gender equality; and

-           environmental preservation.

Today, the “Zero Hunger” program, whose main tool is the Family Stipend, reaches 7.5 million families, or about 30 million Brazilians.

By the end of my tenure, all families living below the poverty line will be incorporated into the program.

Brazil will finally ensure all its children the right to eat every day.

We have come far, and won the credibility to aim at even more ambitious steps towards social justice.

Brazil has recovered a sustained pace of growth, creating jobs and distributing wealth.

In the last 32 months, we have created 3.2 million new jobs in the formal sector, in addition to hundreds of thousands of jobs created at the level of family agriculture.

Attention to women’s rights and promotion of racial equality permeate all our public policies.

We have created special secretariates, with ministerial standing, to ensure that this really happens.

I am very moved by one example in particular: poor black and indigenous people educated in public schools can now attend universities due to our affirmative action program, with financial support for poor students.

Another example:

- We have ended the centuries’ old discrimination against rural women, under which land ownership was granted only to men. Now both men and women can share the right to land.

- Agricultural credit was also the privilege of men. Now both men and women farmers can take out loans.

In the environmental area, I am very pleased to highlight the consistent drop in deforestation rates in the Amazon region, as well the new prospects emerging for the region`s 22 million inhabitants, thanks to the Sustainable Amazon Plan, an innovative project for ecologically-oriented social and economic development.

Social and economic changes in Brazil are making us a more productive and caring country.

We are ready and willing to muster forces with nations around the world to achieve the Millennium Goals, to the benefit of poor people and humanity worldwide.

I want to conclude by saying that I must refer to a point I raised in the meeting of the Security Council of the UN regarding the urgent need for a reform of that organ – in order for it to become more legitimate, more representative – without which the UN will not fulfill the historic role it is destined for.

Thank you very much.