Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff arrived Sunday in New York and on Tuesday, as is traditional, will open the round of speeches at the annual UN General Assembly and will later meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and president of the Assembly Vuk Jeremic from Serbia.
The official delegation includes the president’s daughter, Foreign minister Antonio Patriota, Special advisor on international affairs, Marco Aurelio Garcia; Minister of Education, Aloizo Mercadante; Minister of Industry and Trade, Fernando Pimentel; Minister of Cities, Aguinaldo Ribeiro and Helena Chagas, head of Social Communications’ Secretariat.
The Brazilian president is only planning to stay until next Thursday when she will have to compress a long list of meetings with foreign leaders and delegates. A meeting with President Obama is not in the agenda since the US leader will only be staying two days in New York because he in the middle of the presidential campaign.
However President Rousseff will hold a meeting with the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, according to the Planalto press office.
On Wednesday the Brazilian president is scheduled to participate in a conference at the Council of Foreign Affairs, which brings together foreign policy experts and academics and publishes the respected magazine Foreign Affairs. However the event is closed to the media.
Other meetings scheduled include the leaders of Germany, Turkey, the Arab League and members of BRICS, Russia, India, China and South Africa, plus representatives from multilateral organizations.
Apparently the speech from the Brazilian leader will address sustainable growth, as another element to be included in the next set of millennium objectives, following the current that end in 2015, plus reducing poverty and gender equality.
The speech will also be a continuation of last June’s Rio+20 meeting held in Rio do Janeiro which talked precisely about sustainable development.
The other big issue will be the peaceful resolution of conflicts, which is directly linked to the current turbulences that started with the Arab spring but have turned particularly deadly such is the case of the ongoing conflict in Syria.
The situation with Iran will also be on the table given a background of initiatives by the previous government of Lula da Silva, together with Turkey, to find a way out to the alleged nuclear arms development by Teheran.
Given the stale mate at the Security Council on the Syrian crisis, Ban Ki-moon has requested all those countries that could have an influence, to help stop the killings and fighting. Since Brazil has a numerous and influential Syrian (and Lebanese) community, it has been suggested Brasilia could have a role to play.