The world is facing a historical juncture that requires a great sense of responsibility from G20 members. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic unleashed a global crisis with severe economic and social implications as well as serious effects on the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in health, employment, education, food security and poverty reduction. In 2022, the conflict in Ukraine and its consequences further worsened this challenging scenario. To respond to the manifold challenges confronting us, we should strive together to find common ground and develop coordinated responses. Brazil is firmly engaged in this process and believes the G20 is a key venue to foster it.
Indeed, as expressed in the Pittsburgh Summit’s Leaders Declaration in 2009, the G20 is “the premier forum for our international economic cooperation”. Brazil thus believes the G20 must urgently address the food and energy security challenges that disproportionately affect the poorest, particularly in developing and lower-income countries.
Brazil is ready to play its dutiful role in carrying out common solutions to shared problems. As the third largest food exporter and second largest producer of biofuels, Brazil is well positioned and committed to the proper response to the current global food and energy crisis.
For food security
To promote food security, we must also work to keep international food supply chains open and accessible, as well as strengthen the resilience, reliability and sustainability of these supply chains. It is also decisive to continue working on liberalising agricultural trade in the World Trade Organization after the recent ministerial meeting, as well as to avoid the imposition of measures that restrict the free circulation of foodstuffs and agricultural inputs worldwide.
The global fertiliser market requires special attention. Higher prices in this sector have prevented small producers from affording such inputs and discouraged new sowing. Overall agricultural productivity could decline and food prices soar. Such developments could undermine our efforts to achieve the SDGs, especially those concerning the eradication of hunger and malnutrition. For Brazil, the normalisation of fertiliser production and trade is both a commercial and humanitarian concern.
Furthermore, the current reorganisation of global energy markets offers an opportunity to accelerate energy transitions. Further investments in renewable and bioeconomy-based solutions such as hydrogen, solar and wind energy, as well as in biofuels, biomass and bio-methane, must be encouraged.
Speeding up the energy transition
Accelerating energy transitions will contribute to international efforts to protect biodiversity and mitigate climate change. Nonetheless, each country must pursue its own energy transition, based on its specific conditions and limitations.
The G20 members’ response to Covid-19 has had achievements, such as the swift development of effective vaccines. Inequitable access to them worldwide represents an immense challenge, however, especially for lower-income countries. Brazil is convinced the world needs stronger national health systems, universal access to vaccines, diagnostics and medicines, and an efficient and well-funded global pandemic preparedness and response mechanism.
In this respect, Brazil has engaged in international efforts to improve pandemic preparedness and response, both at the World Health Organization and at the G20 itself, which resulted in the creation of a Financial Intermediary Fund by the World Bank. We believe the WHO should play a central role in the decision-making process for allocating FIF resources.
The pandemic has also highlighted the vital role of digital technologies in implementing sustainable development policies. The Brazilian government carried out measures to digitalise 31 public services within its efforts against Covid-19, with effective results. The number of users of the government’s online platform (gov.br) has increased from 45 million to 135 million since the beginning of the pandemic. To enable everyone to benefit from such digitalisation, we advocate that digital connectivity infrastructure become a G20 priority.
By the end of 2022, Brazil, in preparation for our presidency of the G20 in 2024, will assume greater responsibilities in the group. As we congratulate Indonesia on its successful presidency, we already signal our full support to India’s presidency due to start in December. We are ready to lead G20 work in 2024, with the determination that it will continue to be a platform for promoting common interests and advancing meaningful solutions to G20 members and the international community as a whole.