Brazil's new president, Michel Temer, told the United Nations on Tuesday that his controversial ascent showed the triumph of democracy. Temer took office on August 31 after the impeachment over accounting irregularities of elected president Dilma Rousseff, whose supporters said Brazil's right-wing forces had staged a bloodless coup.
But Temer, addressing the UN General Assembly, said that the impeachment took place with the most absolute respect of the constitutional order.
The move showed the world there can be no democracy without the rule of law with the standards applicable to all, even the most powerful, he said.
Isolated wills do not prevail, but rather the will of institutions, under the careful oversight of a pluralistic society and a totally free press, he said.
Temer said that he was committed to a path of fiscal responsibility and social responsibility for Brazil, whose once-steady economic growth rates have been whittled by softening prices for its commodity exports.
Temer said the government must now focus on the task of reviving economic growth to ensure that workers recover the millions of jobs lost.
As expected, he said that Brazil on Wednesday would become the latest major economy to ratify the Paris global accord on climate change, bringing the agreement closer to coming into force.
Brazil, one of the world's most bio-diverse countries, is an environmental powerhouse, one that has an uncompromising commitment to the environment, Temer said.
In a sign of protest against his rise to power, several Latin American delegations walked out of the assembly hall Tuesday as Temer prepared to speak.
It is common practice when one wants to send a strong signal of rejection, said Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Guillaume Long, who was among the diplomats that left. He was joined by the delegations from Bolivia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Temer, who is from the conservative wing of Brazil's largest party PMDB, was vice president to Rousseff but turned on Brazil's first woman leader amid her political woes.
Temer, in his debut address to the U.N. General Assembly, was the first head of state to speak at the gathering, in keeping with a tradition under which Brazil has opened the annual sessions since 1955.
Regarding foreign policy, Temer insisted on the need to reform the U.N. Security Council, a body dominated by the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom.
We will maintain our efforts to overcome the impasse over this question, Temer said, referring to proposals to limit the five nations' veto power or expand the number of permanent council members.