In his speech to opening of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly, to world leaders today (Sep. 19) in New York, President Michel Temer said that Brazil should be more open to the world and show more concern with key topics on the international agenda, like North Korea’s nuclear program, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the crisis facing Venezuela.
Temer highlighted the need to reform the UN itself, “particularly the Security Council,” and went on to mention the importance of the Paris Agreement and the efforts against climate change. “Deforestation alarms us, especially in the Amazon,” he stated.
He mentioned the “serious threat” of recent nuclear tests conducted by North Korea, pointing out that “Brazil vehemently condemns such acts.” Temer also talked about the signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, slated for tomorrow (20), proposed by Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Austria, and Ireland, finalized in July this year. Brazil is one of the 26 countries expected to ratify the deal, which will only be brought into effect after the adherence of 50 nations.
Also concerning global peace and security, the president mentioned the halted talks between Israel and Palestine, and reiterated Brazil’s support for a two-state solution. On Syria, Temer said that “the answer one must seek is essentially political.” He went as far as to mention terrorism, describing it as “an evil that feeds on the many forms of fundamentalism and exclusion.”
Temer referred to Brazil as a free country, “ethnically, culturally, religiously, and intellectually diverse,” mentioning international human rights deals signed by the country, the welcoming of refugees, and the granting of humanitarian visas to Haitians and Syrians.
“The human rights situation in Venezuela is still deteriorating,” he said. “In South America, there is no longer room for alternatives to democracy.”
In his address, Temer also talked about economic issues, and criticized protectionism as an answer to economic challenges. He advocated the role of the World Trade Organization (WTO), saying that Brazil advocates “a system of open international trade founded on rules.” He declared that, at the WTO the ministerial conference, to be held in December in Buenos Aires, problems like the access to agricultural markets and the elimination of subsidies to agriculture will have to be addressed.
On domestic topics, Michel Temer mentioned structural reforms currently in course in Brazil—the tax, labor, and pension overhauls—and said that the country is “bringing back fiscal balance,” adding that “the new Brazil rising from the reforms is a country more open to the world.”