Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon President Dilma Rousseff criticized on September 24 the delay in providing developing countries with more voting power at such major financial institutions as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, and said that they are running the risk of losing efficiency and legitimacy. 

    The statement was made at the opening ceremony of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, in New York.

    “It is imperative to put an end to the disparity between the increasingly important role played by developing countries in the world’s economy and their insufficient participation in the decision-making processes of financial institutions worldwide, like the IMF and the World Bank. The delay in expanding the voting power of emerging countries at these institutions is unacceptable,” Rousseff declared in her speech.

    She highlighted the joint efforts of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which decided this year to start a development bank and an arrangement for the emergency assistance of member countries and other emerging nations as an alternative to the world’s financial order.

    The president mentioned a number of measures taken by the government over the last years in an attempt to protect the Brazilian economy from the global crisis, but she admitted that Brazil is also among the countries that experienced a slowdown.

    “In spite of having managed to resist the damaging consequences of the crisis, they also affected us more severely during the last years. This fact comes as a result of the persistence of serious economic difficulties everywhere in the world, which caused a negative impact on our growth,” she argued.

    The president went on to add that it is indispensable “to recover the dynamics of the global economy, which should function as an instrument for propelling the growth of international trade and the reduction of inequality among countries,” Rousseff stated.

    She also expressed her support for commitments from the countries after the conclusion of the Doha Round, a series of negotiations aimed at the liberation of global trade.

    In her speech, which lasted approximately 24 minutes, Rousseff also criticized the multilateral agencies’ lack of ability to work towards the resolution of conflicts, as was the case in the recent crisis between Palestine and Israel and the impasse faced by Russia and Ukraine.

    “The use of force is unable to eliminate the deep causes of the conflicts. This is clear in the unrelenting Palestinian question, in the systematic massacre of the Syrian people, in the tragic collapse of Iraq, in Libya’s alarming insecurity, in the conflict in Sahel and the clashes in Ukraine. At every military intervention, we haven’t been walking towards peace, but rather watching as these conflicts grow ever fiercer,” she declared.

    Rousseff demanded “a real” reform in the UN Security Council, and criticized the delay in this process. “UN’s 70th anniversary, to be celebrated in 2005, should afford the convenient opportunity for [bringing about] the progress the situation requires. I’m certain that we all understand the dangers of a paralysis and stagnation of the Security Council. A council that’s more representative and more legitimate will also be able to prove more efficient,” she said.

    The president seized the opportunity to stress Brazil’s opposition to the government of Israel in the conflict with Palestine. “We cannot remain indifferent to [this] crisis, especially after the dramatic events that took place in the Gaza Strip.

    “We condemn the disproportionate use of force, which has made a considerable number of victims among the population, including women and children. This conflict should be solved, and not poorly managed, as has been the case,” the Brazilian head of state concluded, and made an appeal for tolerance between both states taking into consideration the borders internationally recognized.

    Climate Summit

    The Climate Summit held its closing ceremony at the UN headquarters, in New York, with the commitment to reduce deforestation by half up to 2020 and to end it totally by 2030.

    The New York Declaration was signed by 150 countries and organizations, among which 28 member states, 35 companies, 16 indigenous groups, and 45 associations from the civil society. Brazil, however, was not among its signatories.

    According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Brazilian government was not invited to participate in the process of drafting the letter, so the country was unable to commit to the goals established. The Ministry further explained that the declaration is not an official UN document, and is thus only to be followed by its signatories.

    The UN Information Center for Brazil announced that the letter remains open for other countries and organizations interested in signing it. In addition to the fight against deforestation, the document lays down objectives such as the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions over the next six years.

    The center went on to highlight that the negotiations over the commitments countries should make to combat global warming hold valid up to 2015, when the 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP-21) is to take place in Paris.

    Leaders and representatives from 125 nations took part in the summit. According to the UN, the gathering has been the biggest one ever held on climate changes. Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said in her speech at the event that the fight against climate changes is not harmful to the economy.

    “The reduction in the emissions and the adaptation measures should be regarded as a source of wealth, so as to attract investments and launch new actions for sustainable development,” she stated, adding that developed countries should be assigned the bigger responsibility in the struggle against global warming.

    ABr

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