‘Brazil is back’: Lula addresses inequality during UN assembly

Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva opened the floor to world leaders Tuesday with his opening address to the UN 78th General Assembly where he stressed the need to raise efforts against inequality and global challenges.

The leftist president addressed pressing subjects threatening global stability, focusing on inequality and climate change and their disproportionate effects on developing countries.

“Brazil is back. Our country is back to make its two contributions in facing the major global,” he said.

The Brazilian leader returned to the UN after 14 years. His presence at the assembly also marks 20 years since his first remarks in 2003, where Lula addressed the looming threat of climate change and the need for immediate action.

“I maintain my unshakable trust in humanity. At that time, the world had not yet realized the severity of the climate crisis. Today, it knocks on our doors, destroys our homes, our cities, our countries, kills and imposes loss and suffering on our brothers, especially the poorest,” he said.

Lula said at its core, inequality was the prevalent culprit of environmental, economic, and social trials. He lamented that 735 million people worldwide are facing daily food insecurity and pointed his finger at the current state of wealth distribution and its effect on the future.

“The 10 richest billionaires have more wealth than the poorest 40% of humanity. The destiny of every child born in this world seems to be decided while they are 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,” he said.

Lula also criticized governments for their unwillingness to end inequality, a point he has illustrated in the past, condemning wealthier nations for funneling resources for war instead of promoting social causes.

His criticisms were directed to the UN when he pointed out that the Security Council had failed to take a stand against some permanent members who have “wage unauthorized wars.”

Lula demanded the ongoing war in Ukraine end through peaceful means.

​​​​​​​”The war in Ukraine exposes our collective inability to enforce purposes and principles of the UN charter,” he said. “No solution will be lasting if it is not based on dialogue.”

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