World News

Brazil calls for UN overhaul at meeting of G20 ministers in Rio

Brazil opened a conference of foreign ministers from the G20 group of nations on Wednesday by blaming the United Nations and other multinational bodies for failing to stop mounting wars and conflicts that are killing innocent people.

Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira called for “profound reform” of global governance as Brazil’s top priority for its presidency this year of the group of the world’s largest economies.

“Multilateral institutions are not adequately equipped to deal with current challenges, as demonstrated by the Security Council’s unacceptable paralysis in relation to ongoing conflicts,” Vieira said at the opening of a two-day meeting to prepare the agenda for the G20 annual summit in November.

“This state of inaction results in the loss of innocent lives,” he said.

Ministers from the G20 nations, including the United States and Russia, began a free discussion of current world tensions and ways to improve multilateral organisations, a priority set by Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, along with curbing climate change and reducing poverty.

But with continued fighting between Russia and Ukraine and the war in Gaza, diplomats are not optimistic that proposals to upgrade global governance will advance easily within the G20.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Lula in Brasilia on his way to the Rio meeting and expressed US support for Brazil’s agenda to make global governance more effective, spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters.

The top US diplomat discussed the conflict in Gaza with Lula, amid a diplomatic spat after the Brazilian leader likened Israel’s war in Gaza to the Nazi genocide during World War Two.

Lula has criticized the United Nations for failing to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and his accusations last week of atrocities by Israel in Gaza triggered a diplomatic crisis with an Israeli reprimand and Brazil recalling its ambassador.

Brazil does not accept a world in which differences are resolved through the use of military force, Vieira said.

“A very significant portion of the world has made a choice for peace and does not accept being involved in conflicts driven by other nations,” he said.

Brazil’s G20 sherpa, diplomat Mauricio Lyrio, said on Tuesday that the lack of effective global governance to deal with the world’s challenges has led to an unprecedented proliferation of conflicts.

Lyrio said there was growing consensus on the need to overhaul the United Nations, where Brazil has advocated the expansion of the Security Council, a proposal that has not advanced due to the resistance of nations with veto power.

“This meeting will essentially be a venting session to build the case for multilateral reform and diagnosing the problem,” a European diplomat told Reuters.

Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov faced each other across the table for the first time since they spoke briefly face-to-face at last year’s foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi. No meeting was planned between the two men.

As an innovation, Brazil will propose holding a second G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in September during the UN General Assembly in New York to advance talks on global governance, Lyrio said, with all UN member states invited to take part.

The G20 represents around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

Source: SABC

In other news – Zambian Government Clashes with Former President Lungu over Education Claims

Grace Chivube, a National Trustee of the United Party for National Development (UPND), has strongly criticized former President Edgar Lungu’s purported plans to abolish the UPND Free Education Policy.

Edgar Lungu

Chivube emphasized that such a move would insult the intelligence of Zambian women and pose a significant burden, particularly on the girl child. Read more

Back to top button