At the 7th meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Brazilian President Lula da Silva asked the Latin American leaders to bet on regional integration to fight against the «unacceptable» reality that inequality and poverty generate.
The Workers’ Party leader recalled that the first CELAC summit took place in 2008 on the Costa do Sauipe, in the Brazilian state of Bahia, where for the first time the Latin American heads of state and government met without foreign tutelage «to discuss our problems and seek our own solutions to the challenges we share.»
Lula then emphasized that solidarity, dialogue, and cooperation are collective action mechanisms that are becoming more timely and necessary than ever.
«The world is experiencing multiple crises: pandemics, climate change, natural disasters, geopolitical tensions, pressures on food and energy security, and threats to representative democracy as a form of political and social organization,» he said, stressing that all that happens amid «an unacceptable context of growing inequalities, poverty and hunger.»
Lula thanked the solidarity of Latin American countries that rejected the coup attempt, which took place in Brasilia. He ratified the need to reject the new expressions of terrorism and political violence that far-right activists could generate in the region.
To reduce inequality we must tax the richest by:
1. Creating a one-off solidarity and windfall taxes of 50-90%.
2. Permanently increase taxes on their income from labour and capital.
3. Use the revenues from these taxes to fight inequality.
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam)
January 18, 2023
Referring to the global challenges that require common responses, Lula da Silva emphasized the consequences that climate change entails for all societies. Therefore, he expressed himself in favor of promoting the energy transition in the region as soon as possible.
«We have diversified energy matrices and growth potential in renewable and clean energies. We have some of the main biomes in our territories. We have strategic natural resources such as critical minerals,» he said, adding that «we conserve an important portion of the planet’s biodiversity and we are a power in water resources, which are key to the future of humanity.»
Finally, Lula da Silva invited the Latin American rulers to jointly build a peaceful world order based on mulmultilateralism and multipolarity.
«Our development strategy must go step by step with the reduction of inequality in its various dimensions, with the guarantee of access to fundamental rights in the fields of education, health and work, among many others… Nothing must separate us, since everything unites us.»