The President of Brazil, the first Head of State traditionally to address the annual United Nations General Assembly’s general debate, pledged on Tuesday that his country will sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – reiterating that the nuclear powers undertake additional disarmament.
“Brazil was among the drafters of the Treaty. It will be a historical moment,” President Michel Temer said. “We must acknowledge that there are still issues in the agenda of peace and security that give rise to serious apprehension,” he added, noting the recent nuclear and missile tests on the Korean Peninsula, which Brazil condemns “with the utmost vehemence.”
In an address that covered a wide range of issues, including trade, development, conflicts and the refugee crisis, Mr. Temer told the Assembly that while Organization’s aspirations have not been entirely fulfilled, the UN has represented the prospect for a more just world – one of peace and prosperity, saying “We need more diplomacy, more negotiating, […] we need the UN more than before.”
Maintaining the importance of multilateralism, the Brazilian President advocated for an expanded Security Council aligned with the reality of the twenty-first century, “to listen to the will of the overwhelming majority of the Assembly.”
Turning to the 2030 Agenda, Mr. Temer said: “Brazil’s commitment to sustainable development is a deep-rooted one. It permeates our public policies and our actions abroad.” He pointed to the country’s contributions, including its commitment to the Paris Agreement, and highlighted that Brazil is at the forefront of a low carbon economy in which clean and renewable energy accounts for more than 40% of its energy matrix – three times more of the world’s average. “We are leaders in hydropower and bio-energy,” he stressed.
Noting that Brazil has the largest tropical forest on the planet, he announced that the country’s efforts in combating deforestation have resulted in a more than 20% reduction in the Amazonian region, saying “We are back on the right track and on this track we shall remain.”
Also in South America, Mr. Temer pointed to the deteriorating human rights situation in Venezuela, saying that Brazil stands with the Venezuela people and “have welcomed thousands of migrants and refugees” from that country.