sexta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2009

Speech of the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during the informal Plenary Session on 18 December 2009 at the 15th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen

Speech of the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during the informal Plenary Session on 18 December at the 15th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-15) in Copenhagen.

"Mister President, Mister General-Secretary, Ladies and Gentlemen Heads of State, Ladies and Gentlemen Heads of Government, and friends.

I confess to all of you that I am a bit frustrated. Because we have been discussing the issue of climate for a long time and we came to the conclusion that the problem is more serious than we can imagine. Thinking about it´s contribution to the discussion in this conference, Brazil had a very ambitious position. We presented our targets until 2020. 
We assumed a commitment and approved through the National Congress, transforming in law, that Brazil, until 2020, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 36.1% and 38.9%, based on what we consider important: changes in the Brazilian agriculture system; changes in the Brazilian metallurgical system; changes and improvement of our energy balance, already one of the world’s cleanest, and we assumed the commitment to reduce deforestation in the Amazon in 80% until 2020. 
And we made this building an economic engineering that will force a developing country, with many economic difficulties, to spend US$ 166 billion until 2020, equivalent to US$ 16 billion a year. This is not an easy task, but it was necessary to define those measures to show the world that, just with words and bargains, we would not reach a solution in this Conference of Copenhagen. 
Last night, I had the pleasure to participate, until two-thirty in the morning, in a meeting where, sincerely, I did not expect to participate, because it was a meeting with many Heads of State, some of the most prominent personalities of the political world and, sincerely, to submit Heads of State to certain discussions such as we had yesterday, I did not see for a long time.

Yesterday, I was in the meeting and remembered my time as trade union leader, when we were negotiating with the entrepreneurs. And why did we have all those difficulties? Because we did not care about the responsibility that it was necessary to work with. The issue is not just money. Some people think that money solves the problem. But money did not solve in the past, it will not solve in the present and, even less, it will solve in the future. Money is important and the poor countries need money to ensure their development, to preserve the environment, to take care of their forests. It is true. 

But it is important that we, the developing countries and the rich countries, when we think about money, we should not think that we are doing a favor, we should not think that we are distributing alms, because the money that will be put on the table is the payment for greenhouse gas emissions made during two centuries of those who had the privilege of industrializing first. 
It is not a bargain of those who have money or those who do not have money. It is a more serious commitment, it is a commitment to know if it is true or not what the scientists are saying, that global warming is irreversible. And, therefore, who has more resources and more possibilities needs to guarantee the contribution to protect the people who need most.
Everybody agreed that we need to ensure the 2% of global warming until 2050. On that, we all agree. Everybody is aware that it is only possible to reach this agreement if the countries assume, with huge responsibilities, their targets. And even the targets, that should be a simple issue, there are many people who want to bargain the targets. All of us could offer a bit more if we had assumed good will during the last months.

All of us know that it is necessary, to ensure the commitment of the targets and the commitment of financing, that we, in any document that will be approved here, that we defend the principles adopted in the Kyoto Protocol and the principles adopted in the Framework Convention. Because it is true that we have common responsibilities, but it is true that they are differentiated. 
I will never forget that when I assumed the Presidency, in 2003, my commitment was to try to guarantee that all Brazilians could have breakfast, lunch and dinner. For the developed world, that was something of the past. For Africa, for Latin America and for many Asian countries, it is still something of the future. And it is linked to the discussion that we are having here, because it is not just a discussion on the issue of climate. 
It is about discussing development and opportunities for all countries. I talked to important leaders and came to the conclusion that it was possible to build a political base to explain to the world that we, Presidents, Prime Ministers and specialists, are very responsible and would find a solution. I still believe, because I am excessively optimist. But it is necessary that we play a game, not thinking about winning or losing. It is true that the countries that give money have the right to ask for transparency, they even have the right to ask for the implementation of the policy that was financed. But it is true that we need to take care with that kind of intrusion in developing and the poorest countries. The experience that we have, of the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank in our countries, should not be repeated in the 21st century.

What we need... and I will say, publicly, something that I did not even say yet in my country, not even to my party and not even to my Congress: if it is necessary to do one more sacrifice, Brazil is willing to put money also to help the other countries. We are willing to participate in the financing if we reach an agreement on a final proposal, here in this meeting.
Now, something we disagree is that the most important people of planet Earth sign any document, just to say that we signed a document. I would love to leave this place with the most perfect document of the world signed. But if we did not have conditions to do this up to now - I do not know, my dear friend Rasmussen, my friend Ban Ki-moon - if we did not manage to get this document up to now, I do not know if some angel or some wise person will come down to this plenary and put in our heads the intelligence we lacked until now. I do not know. 
I believe, as I believe in God, I believe in miracles, it can happen, and I want to be part of it. But, for that miracle to happen, we need to take into account that there were two groups here working on the documents, which we cannot forget. Therefore, the document is very important, of the groups here. 

Second, that we can get a political document to serve as umbrella base, this is also possible if we understand three things: first, Kyoto, the Framework Convention, MRV, they shall not threaten the sovereignty of the countries - each country has to keep the competence of auto-inspecting - and, at the same time, that the money is given to the indeed poorest countries. 
Brazil did not come here to bargain. Our targets do not need external money. We will do with our resources, but we are willing to do a step more if we success solving the problem that will serve, in the first place, the development of the developing countries. We spent one century without growing, while others grew a lot. Now that we started to grow, it is not fair to make sacrifices again. 
In Brazil there are still many poor people. In Brazil there are many poor people, in Africa there are many poor people, in India and in China there are many poor people. And we also understand the role of the richest countries. They cannot be, neither, those who will save us. What we want is, simply, together, the rich and the poor, to establish a common point that allows us to get out of here, proudly, telling to the world that we are worried with the preservation of the future of planet Earth without sacrificing its main species, the men, women and children who live in this world. 

Thank you very much."

quinta-feira, 10 de dezembro de 2009

Amir Taheri, WSJ: Iran's Democratic Moment : Protestors now demand an 'Iranian Republic, not Islamic Republic'

Iran's Democratic Moment

Protestors now demand an 'Iranian Republic, not Islamic Republic'

by Amir Taheri, Wall Street Journal, December 9, 2009

A month ago, Gen. Muhammad-Ali Aziz Jaafari, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, vowed to stop further antiregime demonstrations in Iran and break what he termed "this chain of conspiracies." But this week the "chain" appeared to be as strong as ever: Students across the nation defied the general and his political masters by organizing numerous demonstrations on and off campus.

The various opposition groups that constitute the pro-democracy movement have already called for another series of demonstrations on Dec. 27, 2009, a holy day on the Muslim Shiite calendar. Meanwhile, the official calendar of the Islamic Republic includes 22 days during which the regime organizes massive public demonstrations to flex its muscles. Since the controversial presidential election last June, the pro-democracy movement, in a jujitsu-style move, has used the official days to undermine the regime.

Antigovernment demonstrators at Tehran University, Dec. 7, 2009. Getty Images

On Jerusalem Day, Sept. 18, officially intended to express anti-Semitism, the opposition showed that Iranians have no hostility toward Jews or Israel. One popular slogan was "Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah! I give my life for Iran!" Another was "Forget about Palestine! Think about our Iran!"

On Nov. 4, 2009, the anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, the opposition distanced itself from the regime's anti-American rhetoric. The democrats instead expressed anger against Russia and China, which are perceived as allies of the Islamic Republic. One slogan was "The Russian Embassy is a nest of spies!"

Most significantly, the movement that started as a protest against the alleged rigging of the election that gave a second term to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been evolving. The crowds' initial slogan was "Where Is My Vote?" and the movement's accidental leaders, including former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, tried hard to keep the protest confined to demands such as a recount of the votes and, ultimately, a runoff in accordance with the law.

The slogans of the protestors are no longer about election fraud. Today they include "Death to the Dictator," "Freedom Now," and "Iranian Republic, Not Islamic Republic!" One slogan is a direct message to President Barack Obama: "Obama, Are You With Us or With Them?"

In short, the protestors no longer regard the present regime as the legitimate government of the country.
Both Mr. Mousavi and Ayatollah Mahdi Karroubi, another defeated presidential candidate, tried to prevent attacks on the "Supreme Guide" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the hope of eventually making a deal with him. As part of such a deal, they promised to defend the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, according to sources close to the opposition. The crowds have rejected that by shouting: "Abandon uranium enrichment! Do something about the poor!"

It is clear the democracy movement is in no mood for deals with Mr. Khamenei, who they castigate for having betrayed his constitutional role of arbiter by siding with Mr. Ahmadinejad even before the official results of the election were declared. The demonstrators now burn his effigies, tear up posters showing his image, and chant violent slogans against him. One popular slogan goes: "Khamenei is a murderer! His guardianship is invalid!"

By cracking down ruthlessly on the protestors, the regime has only radicalized the movement. Even such notorious dealmakers as Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president now opposed to Mr. Ahmadinejad, have made it clear they would not accept any formula that would leave the "landslide winner" in place.

Last week, Mr. Rafsanjani refused to attend a much-publicized "reconciliation event" concocted by Ali Ardeshir Larijani, the speaker of Iran's ersatz parliament. The reason? Mr. Rafsanjani did not wish to be seen under the same roof as Mr. Ahmadinejad. Later, in a speech in Mash'had, Mr. Rafsanjani spoke of the regime's "long, deep and, potentially lethal crisis."

To judge by their most popular slogans, demonstrators across Iran are bent on regime change. Even rumors that the regime is working on scenarios for ditching Mr. Ahmadinejad—ostensibly on "health grounds"—after the Iranian New Year in March, have failed to halt the spread of regime-change sentiments.

Given the nation's mood, Messrs. Mousavi and Karroubi have abandoned their earlier talk of "realizing the full potentials of the existing constitution." An adviser to Mr. Mousavi tells me that "They wanted to make an omelet without breaking eggs. They now realize that [the people] have moved faster than imagined." More significantly, perhaps, Mr. Mousavi appears to have put his plans for an ill-defined "green organization" on the backburner. He is beginning to understand that the antiregime movement is too wide to fit into a centrally controlled framework.

Over the past six months, thousands of people have been arrested and hundreds killed in the streets. And yet, despite promises to squash the movement by Gen. Jaafari, it persists. To make matters worse for the regime, the Shiite clergy, often regarded as the backbone of the Islamic Republic, is beginning to distance itself from the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad tandem. Some ayatollahs, such as Messrs. Montazeri, Bayat, San'ei, Borujerdi and Zanjani, are especially annoyed at Mr. Ahmadinejad's claim of being in contact with the "Hidden Imam"—a messiah-like figure of Shiism whose second coming is supposed to occur at the end of times.

Mr. Ahmadinejad claims that the "return" is imminent and that he, as one of the "pegs" designated by the Hidden Imam to prepare the ground for the advent, has a mission of chasing the "Infidel" out of Muslim lands and liberating Palestine from "Zionist occupiers." In a speech in Isfahan last week, Mr. Ahmadinejad claimed that the pro-democracy movement was created by the Americans to sabotage his mission and thus prevent the return of the "Hidden Imam."

In response, a mid-ranking cleric in Qom tells me: "The way Ahmadinejad talks, he must be a sick man . . . by backing such a man, Khamenei has doomed the regime."

The Ahmadinejad-Khamenei tandem is also coming under attack for its alleged incompetence. The regime is now plagued by double-digit inflation, a massive flight of capital, and unprecedented levels of unemployment. Divisions within the ruling clique mean that the president has been unable to fill scores of key posts at middle levels of government. Rapidly losing its popular base, the regime is becoming increasingly dependent on its coercive forces, especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

Revolutionary Guard commanders appear on TV almost every night, presenting themselves as "guardians of the system." Gen. Jaafari himself says he is attracted by the "Turkish model" in which the army acts as a bulwark of the republic.

However, the general may not have all the time in the world to ponder his next move. The pro-democracy movement is deepening and growing. Much work is under way to connect it to independent trade unions and hundreds of formal and informal associations that lead the civil society's fight against the evil of the Islamic Republic.

Iran has entered one of those hinge moments in history. What is certain is that the status quo has become untenable.

Mr. Taheri's new book, "The Persian Night: Iran Under the Khomeinist Revolution," is published by Encounter Books.