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Host Vieira criticizes UNSC on first day of G-20 Foreign Ministers Summit

Thursday, February 22nd 2024 - 10:32 UTC
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Vieira said he hoped the meeting would help tackle world hunger Vieira said he hoped the meeting would help tackle world hunger

Brazil's Mauro Vieira launched Wednesday the 2-day summit of G-20 Foreign Ministers in Rio de Janeiro by criticizing the paralysis of the United Nations Security Council in the face of the record number of conflicts in the world.

“Multilateral institutions are ill-equipped to deal with today's challenges, as demonstrated by the Security Council's unacceptable paralysis in relation to ongoing conflicts. This state of inaction directly implies the loss of innocent lives. Brazil does not accept a world in which differences are resolved through the use of military force. A very significant portion of the world has opted for peace and does not accept being involved in conflicts driven by foreign nations. Brazil rejects the pursuit of hegemonies, old or new. It is not in our interest to live in a fractured world,” the minister was quoted by Agencia Brasil as saying.

“It is completely unreasonable for the world to go well over the US$ 2 trillion mark in military spending every year. By way of comparison, Official Development Assistance aid programs remain stagnant at around US$60 billion a year - less than 3% of military spending,” he added.

“If inequality and climate change really are existential threats, I can't help but feel that we lack concrete action on these issues,” he said given that disbursements to this end under the Paris Agreement barely reach US$ 100 billion a year.

Vieira also underlined that Brazil intended to prioritize social issues including the fight against world hunger during its presidency of the G20, which runs until November 30, 202.

“I would like to appeal to all of you to pay special attention to and support the ongoing discussions aimed at launching a Global Alliance against Hunger and Poverty, a key priority of our G20 presidency. My country would like to count on the support of all members, guest countries, and international organizations so that, at the Leaders' Summit in Rio de Janeiro next November, the twenty largest economies in the world can announce an effective contribution to eradicating hunger in the world,” said the minister.

In other speeches, Mexico's Alicia Bárcena stressed that “peace is not found in force, but in equality, justice and law.”

The European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said the G20 remains a “paramount forum” for addressing today's complex global challenges. “While the world sees confrontation and escalation, we must show that multilateralism works in times of crisis,” he stressed on social networks.

Vieira also welcomed his G-20 colleagues Diana Mondino (Argentina), Sergei Lavrov (Russdia), Stéphane Sejourné (France); Sameh Shoukry Egypt), Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi (Indonesia) and China's Deputy FM Ma Zhaoxu, among others.

China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday that the purpose of the G20 forum was to discuss matters of global economic cooperation and should not be used as a platform for amplifying geopolitical disagreements.

The G20 Brazil website has listed several topics to be discussed, including “the situation in the Middle East and the Russian offensive in Ukraine” – situations it says have led to international concern “over the humanitarian crisis and the geopolitical and economic consequences of the conflicts.”

However Beijing’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mao Ning said such topics were never intended to be within the G20’s remit. “The G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation, not a platform for resolving geopolitical and security issues,” Mao said in a press briefing. “This is a G20 consensus,” she said, adding that she expects the meeting of foreign ministers to “contribute to global economic growth.”

Earlier Wednesday, Moscow issued its objection to Ukraine’s security being part of the summit’s agenda, saying in a statement that the issue was “non-core” for the G20. “The Russian delegation intends to draw the special attention of partners to the unacceptability of the politicization of the G20, which, according to its mandate, is designed to focus strictly on socio-economic challenges.”

Speaking to Brazil’s O Globo, Lavrov said that “Russia is open to resolving the conflict peacefully” but “Russophobic policies” in Kyiv and the collective West needed to be dropped.

Categories: Politics, Brazil, International.

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