By: I. Toledo
This Tuesday, 29th of August, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stated his desire to discuss making changes to the United Nations Security Council with United States President Joe Biden. This talk is expected to be held in the UN General Assembly which will take place in September in New York.
For many years, Brazil has been attempting to get a permanent seat on the Security Council, which is composed of 5 permanent members who have the right of veto – the USA, Russia, UK, France and China – and 10 other elected countries that hold their seat for 2 years before elections are held again. Lula argues that the council should accept that we now live in a different world than we did in 1945 and that it is time for the council to accept new countries and become more representative. Lula has also declared that “only countries that are in the Council make war” and hence that it is “necessary to have countries that can mediate in conflicts, with nations that are not at war, like Brazil”.
This initiative has also been influenced by the recent addition of 5 new countries in BRICS, which is now not composed of only Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, but also Argentina, Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran. Lula was encouraged by the successful inclusion in BRICS and has also taken the opportunity to ask the new members for support in his quest for Brazil’s permanent seat in the council.
In the UN General Assembly where it is said that Lula will be participating, the Brazilian President will give the opening speech as of tradition and intends to address economic and environmental issues. It is also presumed that a bilateral meeting will occur between Lula and Biden, parallelly to the assembly’s agenda.
Lula has also shared with the media another one of his ambitious plans: a proposal for a common currency between the BRICS members to facilitate trade between them. It is hence clear that Lula is set on making Brazil more involved in the international community and aims to make changes to the structures that place the country in the position it currently finds itself in. Whether these plans will end up being followed through and if they will be indeed advantageous to the country remains unclear, but it will certainly impact Brazil’s reputation amongst other nations, either for better or for worse.