Sunday, January 26, 2003
Brazil's President Lula has proposed the establishment of an international anti-hunger fund for "Third World countries."
He called the initiative the World Agreement for Peace and Against Hunger. It would parallel his national anti-hunger campaign. The centrepiece of his four-week old administration, the domestic programme will likely adopt US-style food stamps to ensure that "every Brazilian can have breakfast, lunch + dinner," as the president put it in his speech. Lula also called for greater sharing of scientific information internationally.
Questioned about the need for yet another anti-hunger scheme when the biggest problem with current institutions might be their inability to deliver on promises, Lula responded that, "If these institutions aren't delivering, we need to review their roles or even create new institutions."
Coming to Davos from the World Social Forum, an international gathering of activists in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Lula advocated dialogue between the World Social Forum and the World Economic Forum. "I think the people in Davos should talk to the people in Porto Alegre," he said. "It is like management and unions that seem to be far away in contract talks. But when you sit down, the distance doesn't seem so huge."
In a parting shot, Lula told the packed auditorium: "The most fantastic thing is that I'm going back to the World Social Forum, and my comrades will notice that you haven't taken a bite out of me. Nor have I taken a bite out of you. I think there is room for us to get together to talk."
Posted 6:25 pm by Matt Prescott