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In today’s podcast: Alvaro Uribe gets attention from the media because he met with Sarah Palin yesterday, while his urgent plea to Congress last week went mostly unnoticed by the media. Uribe is scheduled to speak today at the UN.
As far as I know, Obama’s staying away from Uribe and the UN meeting. All Obama had to say on Latin America is right here.
Back to the UN:
We’ll be spared Chavez’s book selections and sulphuric prose this year since he’s in China, where he’s signed up to build a joint Chinese-Venezuelan oil refinery. Instead, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister will address the UN. I guess Hugo felt he couldn’t top his performance of two years ago and Chinese money was more urgent.
Yesterday Lula spoke at the UN,
Lula defended an ‘overhaul’ of the multilateral system to make it better prepared to cope with current global challenges, especially the financial, food, and energy crisis.
He acknowledged that the food and energy crisis are ‘deeply interlinked.’
But Lula countered attempts to view high food prices as linked to biofuels’ use. ‘That does not stand up to an objective analysis of reality.’
Critics say the increased production of sugar cane or corn for processing into ethanol have contributed to higher prices of agricultural commodities.
Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of biofuels, including ethanol.
In fact, he added, a successful conclusion of the Doha Round of global trade talks would have a very positive impact on food production, particularly in developing countries.
‘We are still pushing for an agreement to reduce scandalous farm subsidies in rich countries,’ Lula said.
Negotiators launched the Doha round of world trade talks nearly seven years ago in Doha, Qatar with the aim of tearing down barriers to international trade, boosting the global economy and helping poor countries export more.
More importantly, Brazil along with India, Japan and Germany are pushing for major Security Council reform and have staked their claim to the Permanent Membership to this powerful body of the United Nations.
The Brazilian President also welcomed the recent decision of the General Assembly to start intergovernmental negotiations soon. This was considered as a victory for the the group of four countries — India, Brazil, Japan and Germany.
The G4 nations have been pushing for membership for years, and Brazil has been elected nine times to the UN Security Council. The US supports Brazil’s permanent membership to the Security Council but without a veto. In his UN speech yesterday Nicolas Sarkozy also supported Brazil.
There are 5 five veto-wielding permanent Security Council members – the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China and 10 elected ones.
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