Lula: United South America to shake global balance of power
Posted on : 2008-05-23 | Author : DPA
News Category : America http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/207594,lula-united-south-america-to-shake-global-balance-of-power.html#
Brasilia - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Friday in Brasilia that a United South America can shift the global balance of power. "South America, united, will move the board game of power in the world, not for its own benefit, but for everyone's," Lula said.
As he opened the summit to launch the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), the region's latest integration initiative, Lula stressed that the region can contribute to overcoming the current world food crisis, as long as it is autonomous.
"When food scarcity threatens social peace in many parts of the world, it is to our region that many turn looking for answers. We are conscious of our global responsibilities, but we will not decline to exercise them in a sovereign way," the summit host told his peers.
In an attack on the protectionism of developed countries, Lula called upon the leaders of the remaining 11 members of Unasur not to let themselves be fooled "by the arguments of those who, based on protectionist interests or geopolitical motivations, are annoyed by the growth of (South American) industry and our agriculture."
According to Lula, the launch of Unasur realizes "the dream of integration" of South American independence heroes.
"South American integration is essential to strengthen Latin America and the Caribbean," he said.
Lula stood up for his proposal to establish a South American Defence Council to integrate the region's defence industries and help overcome tensions. The proposal was presented in recent weeks by Brazilian Defence Minister Nelson Jobim but has encountered resistance particularly from Colombia.
"It is time to strengthen our continent in the field of defence. We have to articulate a vision of defence in the region that is based on common values and principles, like respect for sovereignty. I think we have to discuss that initiative here," Lula told his peers.
Uribe, however, again expressed his opposition to the proposal and argued that the region already has the Organization of American States (OAS) to overcome conflicts.
Uribe also said an obstacle for such a Defence Council is the resistance of some South American countries, including Brazil, to define the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as "terrorists."