G20 BRASIL

'We need a new globalization that fights disparities', says Lula

At the opening of the joint meeting of the Sherpas and Finance Tracks on Wednesday (13), President Lula reaffirmed that tackling inequalities and sustainable development are priorities for the Brazilian presidency of the summit

12/13/2023 1:36 PM - Modified a month ago
Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during the opening of the Joint Session of the Sherpas and Finance Tracks, at the Itamaraty Palace.  Photo: Ricardo Stuckert / PR
Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during the opening of the Joint Session of the Sherpas and Finance Tracks, at the Itamaraty Palace. Photo: Ricardo Stuckert / PR

“Inequalities are at the root of the problems we face or contribute to making them worse. We need a new globalization that fights disparities ", said President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during the opening of the joint meeting of the Sherpas and Finance Tracks on Wednesday (13) in Brasilia.

Lula reinforced the priorities of Brazil's presidency of the bloc and its efforts to promote social inclusion, the fight against hunger and poverty, the promotion of sustainable development and the reform of global governance institutions. "It is unacceptable that a world capable of generating wealth in the order of 100 trillion dollars per year should have more than 735 million people go hungry and more than 8% of the population live in poverty," he said.

According to Lula, the G20 will be essential for the discussions at COP 30, which will be held in Belém do Pará in 2025, since the discussions make possible "audacious contributions and adequate means of implementation" for the promotion of national plans for ecological transformation, bioeconomy policies and the definition of basic principles on the sustainable use of natural resources.

"We want to ensure that the profound transformations we are experiencing result in social well-being, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability for all. The global economy's decarbonization and the digital revolution are processes that will alter the planet," he added.

Regarding the reform of global governance systems, another priority of Brazil's presidency of the G20, Lula proposed to "seriously tackle the debate on the anachronism of global governance institutions. Climate finance mechanisms need to be improved. The four largest environmental funds have a balance of more than ten billion dollars, but developing countries are unable to access them due to simply bureaucratic obstacles. Multilateral development banks must become bigger, better, and more effective, allocating more resources to initiatives that truly make a difference more quickly," he said.

Joint meeting

The first cycle of G20 Brazil meetings began on Monday (11) and runs until Friday (15), in Brasilia, at the Itamaraty Palace. This Wednesday's meeting (13), which included an opening speech by President Lula, intertwines the work of the Sherpas and Finance Tracks and includes representatives from 19 countries, the African and European Unions, as well as deputy finance ministers and vice-presidents of G20 central banks.

After this first cycle of aligning the work for the summit, which will be held in November 2024 in Rio de Janeiro, the next G20 meetings are scheduled for the second week of January, via videoconference.

Read the full speech

Meeting of G20 Sherpas, deputy ministers of Finance and
Central Bank representatives

(Brasília, December 13, 2023)

I would like to welcome all the Sherpas, deputy ministers of Finance and Central Bank representatives of the G20 countries and guests.

Brazil is hosting the G20 Summit for the first time.

This meeting kicks off a hectic schedule that will take us to Rio de Janeiro in November of next year.

We have complete faith in its potential.

The G20 is more than just a group of the world's largest economies, accounting for 80% of global GDP, 75% of exports, and roughly 60% of the world's population.

The G20 is currently the political and economic forum with the most influence over the international agenda.

2024 will be filled with significant challenges.

We do not want a world characterized by renewed conflicts, increased fragmentation, the formation of protectionist blocs, and environmental destruction. Its consequences for geopolitical stability would be unpredictable.

Brazil is still in mourning over the tragic conflict between Israel and Palestine. The daily violation of humanitarian law is appalling, resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, particularly women and children.

Brazil will continue to advocate for a permanent ceasefire that will allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and the immediate release of all Hamas hostages.

It is critical that the international community work toward a two-state solution with secure coexistence.

Without collective action, these multiple crises have the potential to multiply and deepen.

 Inequalities are at the root of the problems we face or contribute to making them worse.

We need a new globalization that fights disparities.

This objective will guide the entire Brazilian presidency, which will be structured along three axes:

1. Social inclusion and the fight against hunger and poverty;

2. Promotion of sustainable development in its social, economic and environmental dimensions and energy transitions; and

3.   The reform of global governance institutions.

In the first axe, we want to eradicate one of today's main problems.

It is unacceptable that a world capable of generating wealth in the order of 100 trillion dollars per year should have more than 735 million people go hungry and more than 8% of the population live in poverty.

To address this issue, we established the Task Force Against Hunger and Poverty.

We will propose a Global Alliance with three pillars:

- A pillar of national commitments, which will drive a set of public policies with proven effectiveness;

- A financial pillar, which will mobilize internal and external resources to finance these policies; and

- A technical support pillar, which will disseminate good practices and encourage south-south cooperation.

In the second axe, we want to ensure that the profound transformations we are experiencing result in social well-being, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability for all.

The global economy's decarbonization and the digital revolution are processes that will alter the planet.

The G20 is responsible for three quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The group's high-income members emit twelve tons of CO2 per capita each year, while the middle-income members emit half that amount.

The planet cannot withstand an increase in global temperature of more than one and a half degrees.

The G20 will be critical in ensuring that we adopt more ambitious nationally determined contributions, accompanied by appropriate means of implementation, at COP30 in Belém.

That is why we established a Task Force for Global Mobilization Against Climate Change.

Its primary goal will be to promote national plans for ecological transformation that take into account the effects of global warming on the most vulnerable people.

Many developing countries see the bioeconomy as a promising avenue.

Basic principles for the sustainable use of natural resources to generate goods and services with high added value must be defined.

Technology access is critical not only for just energy transition that is just, but also in the digital realm.

We want to increase capacity in areas such as artificial intelligence, as well as computing infrastructure.

This tool will require clear and collectively agreed-upon guidelines for use.

In dealing with Artificial Intelligence, the world cannot repeat the division between responsible and irresponsible countries that once marked discussions on disarmament and non-proliferation.

On the third axe, we want to seriously tackle the debate on the anachronism of global governance institutions, which are no longer representative.

In 1945, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council made up 10% of the organization's members. Today they are only 2.5%.

The IMF and World Bank boards each had 12 seats for a total of 44 countries when they were established. Today, each board has 25 members representing 190 countries.

 If the original ratio were maintained, these bodies would have 52 seats today - twice their current size.

Around seventy countries, many of which are in Africa, are insolvent or on the verge of insolvency.

Almost half of the world's population, 3.3 billion people, live in countries that prioritize debt service over education and health.

This is a constant source of political unrest.

Effective solutions require debtors, whether low or middle income, to sit at the table to protect national priorities.

We want to encourage international financial institutions to reduce surcharges, increase the volume of concessional resources, and develop risk-mitigation formulas.

We need a more equitable regime for allocating special drawing rights. Today, those who need it most receive the least, which exacerbates inequalities between countries.

Climate finance mechanisms need to be improved. The four largest environmental funds have a balance of more than ten billion dollars, but developing countries are unable to access them due to simply bureaucratic obstacles.

Multilateral development banks must become bigger, better, and more effective, allocating more resources to initiatives that truly make a difference more quickly.

Taxation is also essential for correcting socio-economic disparities between and within countries.

Fair tax systems are based on progressivity and transparency.

They are levied not only on income, but also on wealth, and they curb tax evasion by the super-rich.

Together, we can explore international tax mechanisms that help finance sustainable development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Many declarations, notes, and reports have been issued in recent years. However, decisions are not always implemented.

Coordination between the political and financial tracks that make up the G20 will be essential for the group to function successfully.

It will also be necessary to listen to and welcome the views of civil society: young people, workers, entrepreneurs, indigenous peoples, parliamentarians, scientists, academics and representatives of other vulnerable groups.

In particular, we want to listen to women and continue the reflection on their economic empowerment, within the framework of the recently created working group on the subject.

May the road to the Rio Summit be one of engagement, commitment and solidarity, towards "a Just World and a Sustainable Planet".

Brazil will undoubtedly host an extraordinary summit.

Thank you very much.

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