September 2000 – LUIZ FELIPE PALMEIRA LAMPREIA, Minister for External Relations of Brazil points out in his recent UN statement…that we all know that the twentieth century was marred by a fundamental contradiction. A growing abundance of intellectual and material resources should have brought about a greater convergence of opportunities and living standards throughout the world. Yet, because of a failure to harness the necessary political will, those extraordinary possibilities had not been translated into a reality of progress shared by all.

Globalization was asymmetrical, in part because it flowed from national societies that were themselves socially unbalanced and which seemed to have lost some of their urge to bring about social justice, he continued. Freedom – the greatest of values – continued to advance on all fronts and in all continents.

There was cause for concern, however, that the core values of equality and fraternity were dangerously being put aside. It was imperative that those two essential elements return to the top of the agenda.

It was unacceptable that major global issues and campaigns for transnational solidarity were manipulated to disguise what amounted to the protection of narrow interests, he said. Unfortunately, that was happening in the field of international trade. It was inadmissible that the most prosperous nations should be legally entitled to restrict access to their markets for agricultural goods, while, at the same time, they called for the free flow of those goods in which they benefited from an enormous competitive advantage.

Mobilizing political will could make a difference, he said. The United Nations was the model political forum of the international community and its central goal was to provide the ways and means to bring to life the dearest ideals, values and aspirations. “It is only through political dialogue and consultation among States made possible by multilateralism that a degree of rationality and predictability can be brought to the workings of global forces”, he said. To foster multilateralism was to strengthen the United Nations and the modern understanding of the individual as the central beneficiary of international action.