Bolsonaro: Brazil to unveil list with illegal wood importers

The president rebutted attacks Brazil has suffered after wild fires

Published in 17/11/2020 - 14:40 By Andreia Verdélio - Brasília

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said today (Nov. 17) that Brazil will disclose a list with the names of countries that import illegally extracted wood from the Brazilian Amazon.

In his address at the 12th summit meeting of Brics countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—the president once again rebutted the “attacks” the country has been dealt concerning wild fires and deforestation in the Amazon region. “I believe that, after the disclosure [of the list], relevant to everyone, this practice will decrease considerably in this region,” he declared.

The Federal Police, the president said, developed a method to track the source of wood seized and exported using stable isotopes, which works like a DNA showing the geographical origin of products.

“In the next few days, we’ll be revealing the names of the countries that import this illegal wood from the Amazon, because then we’ll be showing these countries—some of them rather critical of us—that they’re partly to blame for this issue [the advance of deforestation],” Bolsonaro said.

The Brics summit meeting was held online Tuesday and marks the end of Russia’s pro tempore presidency over the course of the last year. In 2021, the group of countries will be led by India.

Bolsonaro praised Russia’s work maintaining the group active in 2020 and deepening cooperation initiatives in a number of fields, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Bolsonaro’s view, Brics countries are “in perfect sync” with the fight against terrorism and the search for a safe and efficient vaccine against the novel coronavirus as well as its commitment with efforts to slash carbon emissions.

Economic rebound

He noted that the first Brics meeting took place in 2009, during “one of the most severe financial crises in history,” adding that, in that context, “the power of emerging economies proved key to recovering the international economy.”

“In 2020, the world once again faces a crisis with challenging outlines. Yet again, countries like Brics members may play a central role in the efforts to tackle COVID-19 and reinvigorate the economy,” he noted.

The path to economic growth, Bolsonaro argued, depends on cooperation focused on “mutual benefits and respect to national sovereignty,” with the expansion of measures to boost trade and the interaction of private sectors between member nations.

“In this regard, Brics has stood out for the variety of sectors and activities comprised by the group’s initiatives. Our cooperation should stimulate the freedom to create and undertake,” he went on to say.

International reforms

The president also advocated for an overhaul in international entities like the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the United Nations Security Council, the last made up of five permanent members (the US, Russia, China, France, and the UK), and ten non-permanent members, elected to two-year tenures.

In Bolsonaro’s opinion, a “truly integrated and active” international community is only possible if such revamping is carried out.

The president also criticized “the politicization of the virus [COVID-19] and the alleged monopoly on WHO’s part,” and said that the pandemic showed “the centrality of nations for the solution of the problems assailing the world.”

“We all have to acknowledge the reality that it was not the international entities that have overcome the challenges, but rather the coordination among our countries,” he stressed, highlighting the need for an international system founded on freedom, transparency, and security, with the protection of democracy and the sovereignty of countries.

Reduction in subsidies

He also stated that the Brics countries should spearhead the support for the reduction in subsidies for agricultural goods on WTO’s part and the permanent access of Brazil, India, and South Africa to the Security Council. “With this important step, I’m sure Brics cooperation can be strengthened even further,” he pointed out.

Combined, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (whose initials in English make up the bloc’s name) have a population of approximately 3.1 billion people—some 41 percent of the global population, and 18 percent of the trade worldwide.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Kleber Sampaio / Nira Foster

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