His Excellency
Mr. Fernando Henrique Cardoso

President of the Federative Republic of Brazil

General Assembly Fifty-Sixth Regular Session

New York, NY USA
10 November 2001

(check against delivery)

I greet Your Excellency, Mr. President, and pay tribute to the Republic of Korea, which offers the world an example of dedication to the cause of peace and development.

I reaffirm my admiration for Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, who together with the United Nations was rightfully honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. More than ever, we need his clear vision and courage in seeking to build a peaceful and democratic international order, one that is based on solidarity.

Only fanatics fail to acknowledge the great mission undertaken by the United Nations and by Kofi Annan.

Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In a tradition that harks back to the beginnings of this Organization, the month of September in New York is dedicated to a celebration of dialogue: the opening of the debate of this General Assembly.

It was not so this year.

This September in New York, as well as in Washington, was marked by the very denial of this dialogue and understanding between peoples: the senseless violence resulting from an odious and treacherous attack against the United States of America and against all peace and freedom-loving peoples.

It was an infamous aggression against a city that, perhaps more than any other, is a symbol of cosmopolitanism.

A city that has welcomed immigrants from all parts, such as the Dutch Jews of Portuguese ancestry that in the 17th century left Brazil for what was then New Amsterdam.

New York has grown, prospered and reached maturity guided by pluralistic values.

It became great and admired not only because of its Jewish and Anglo-Saxon heritage, but equally for its Arab, Latin, African, Caribbean and Asian presence.

The attacks of September 11, 2001 were an act of aggression against all these traditions. An aggression against humanity.

As the first Head of State to speak at this Session of the General Assembly, I wish to be very clear about one point. As I had occasion to say on the very morning of those horrendous attacks and during my conversations with President George W. Bush, Brazil extends it full solidarity and support to the people of the United States in its response to terrorism.

In our understanding, the American hemisphere as a whole was attacked. That is why we suggested convening the consultative organ of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance.

Terrorism negates all that the United Nations stands for. It undermines the very principles of civilized behavior. It fosters fear and threatens the security of all countries.

The victims of terrorism will not be forgotten nor will those responsible for these acts go unpunished, be they individuals, groups or States that give them support. The march of folly will be vigorously resisted by the solid alliance of all free peoples.

The Charter of the United Nations acknowledges the right of Member States to act in self-defense.

This is not in doubt.

Yet, let us keep in mind that the struggle against terrorism cannot rely exclusively on self-defense measures or on the use of military force by individual countries.

In 1945 the United Nations committed itself to the task of laying the foundations for peace and the protection of future generations against the scourge of war.

War always takes a heavy human toll.

A cost in lives cut short and in lives overtaken by fear and flight.

This underscores the responsibility of terrorists for what is happening today.

Brazil hopes that, notwithstanding these circumstances, humanitarian assistance efforts in Afghanistan will not be frustrated.

Moreover, we will, within our possibilities, welcome refugees wishing to settle in our country.

Though obvious, it warrants repeating that the struggle against terrorism is not, and must never become, a clash between civilizations, much less between religions.

Not one of the civilizations that have enriched and humanized our planet can say that it has not known, within its own historical experience, episodes of violence and terror.

Around the world, problems related to crime, drug abuse and trafficking, and money laundering are evils related to terrorism, which must be eradicated.

From this rostrum I wish to call for a worldwide public awareness campaign to make drug users realize that, even if inadvertently, they are-helping finance terrorism.

If we are to stem the flow of resources, to the `terrorist networks spreading death and destruction, it is crucial that drug use in our societies be drastically curtailed.

Furthermore, we must not allow differences in national tax regimes to be used as an instrument to foster capital flight, to the detriment of economic development, or to help finance organized crime, including terrorist actions.

If the existence of tax havens is inseparable from these problems, then tax havens should not exist. We must put an end to these safe harbors of corruption and terror, towards which some governments have up to now been complacent.

Mr. President,

It is only natural that, after September 1Ith, issues of international security be given high priority.

Yet terrorism must not be allowed to stifle the debate on cooperation and other issues of global interest.

The road to the future requires that the forces of globalization be harnessed in the pursuit of lasting peace, a peace sustained not by fear, but rather by the willing acceptance by all countries of a just international order.

On this theme, I have sought to mobilize numerous world leaders.

Brazil wishes to do its part to ensure that the world does not squander the opportunities that are contained in the present crisis.

Let us focus on our fundamental imperative of promoting development.

The process of globalization is tainted by an undeniable sense of unease.

I am not referring to the ideological disquiet of those who oppose globalization on principle. Neither have I in mind those who reject the very notion of universal values, which inspire freedom and the respect for human rights.

Rather, what I do have in mind is the fact that globalization has not lived up to its promises.

There is a governance deficit in the international sphere, and it results from a democratic deficit.

Globalization will only be sustainable if enriched by a sense of justice. Our motto should be "globalization in solidarity" rather than the asymmetrical globalization of today.

In the field of trade, it is high time multilateral negotiations translated into greater access for goods from developing countries into the more prosperous markets.

The ministers meeting in Doha have a heavy responsibility: to ensure that the new round of multilateral trade negotiations indeed turns out to be a "Development Round". To this end, it is crucial that priority be awarded to those issues most conducive to the dismantling of protectionist practices and barriers in developed countries.

Brazil has taken the lead in negotiations to ensure greater market access and better humanitarian conditions in the fight against diseases. We will seek to strike a balance between the requirements of patent rights and the imperative of providing care to those most in need.

We favor market practices and the protection of intellectual property, but not at the cost of human lives. This is a point that must be carefully defined: life must prevail over material interests.

Mr. President,

The Bretton Woods institutions must be revamped if they are to respond to the challenges of the 21St century.

The IMF must be allotted greater resources so as to allow it to function as lender of last resort. For their part, the World Bank and regional banks must be given a more active part in fostering economic growth and development.

The volatility of international capital flows must be contained and the financial system made more predictable and less crisis-prone, as proposed by the G-20.

Similarly, although measures such as the "Tobin Tax" present practical difficulties, it should be possible to look into better and less compulsory alternatives. I submit that these issues should be given special attention at the UN Conference on the Financing of Development, to be held next year in Monterrey.

We must also envisage practical forms of cooperation to alleviate the tragedy of AIDS, above all in Africa.

How long will the world remain indifferent to the plight of those who might yet be saved from disease, deprivation and exclusion?

The 20th century came to an end amid a growing sense of global citizenship and universally shared values.

Brazil is determined to forge ahead in this direction.

The International Criminal Court will be a historic victory for the cause of human rights.

The protection of the environment and sustainable development are equally pressing challenges of our time. The process of climate change has been scientifically ascertained as a fact, but it is not unstoppable.

What the future holds depends on what we do today, in particular as concerns the Kyoto Protocol. We must find the best way to implement it. It cannot be put aside.

Current events in this city and elsewhere clearly demonstrate the grave threat from weapons of mass destruction.

No matter the nature of the menace - bacteriological, such as anthrax, chemical or nuclear - there is no alternative to disarmament and non-proliferation.

It is an ethical imperative that science and technology must not be turned into a weapon in the hands of the irresponsible. This requires the active and legitimate involvement of the United Nations in the control, destruction and eradication of these arsenals.

Mr. President,

Just as it supported the creation of the State of Israel, Brazil today calls for concrete measures towards the setting up of a Palestinian State that is democratic, united and economically viable.

The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the respect for the existence of Israel as a sovereign, free and secure State are essential if the Middle East is to rebuild its future in peace.

This is a moral debt owed by the United Nations. It is a task that must not be postponed.

It is equally urgent that a lasting solution be found to the conflict in Angola, which deserves the opportunity to get back on the road to development.

This is the same future that Brazil wishes for East Timor, which we hope will soon take its rightful place in this Assembly as a sovereign State.

A strong and agile United Nations is required if the world is to respond to increasingly complex problems.

The United Nations will only be strengthened if the General Assembly becomes more active, more respected, and if the Security Council becomes more representative. Its composition should no longer be a reflection of arrangements among the victors of a conflict that took place over 50 years ago, and for whose triumph Brazilian soldiers gave their blood in the glorious campaigns in Italy.

Brazil joins those who appeal for more democracy in international relations in calling for the enlargement of the Security Council. Common sense requires the inclusion, in the category of permanent members, of those developing countries with, the necessary credentials to exercise the responsibilities that today's world imposes upon them.

By the same token, Brazil believes that an enlargement of the G 7/8 is called for in view of the transformations the world is presently undergoing. It is no longer admissible to restrict to such a limited group of countries the discussion of issues pertaining to globalization and its inevitable impact on the political and economic life of emerging countries.

Mr. President,

An international order that is more just and based on solidarity will only come about through a concerted effort on the part of the community of nations.

This is too precious a goal to be left to the vagaries of market forces or to the whims of power politics.

We do not aspire to a world government, but we cannot sidestep the obligation to ensure that international relations are not left rudderless, but reflect the legitimate aspirations of the majority.

The nefarious shadow of terrorism points to what can be expected if we do not enhance mutual understanding among peoples.

This Organization was created under the sign of dialogue.

A dialogue among sovereign States that are subject to free nations, whose peoples actively participate in national decision-making.

With their help, we can ensure that the 21St century will not be a time of fear, but rather of the flourishing of a freer humanity, in peace with itself, and rationally oriented towards the building of an international order that is acceptable to all peoples and that provides a guiding framework for States at the global level.

This is the challenge of the 21St century.

Let us face it inspired by the grand vision of the founding fathers of this Organization, who dreamed of a pluralistic world, founded on peace, solidarity, tolerance and reason, which is the ultimate source of the rule of law.

Thank you very much.