“We don’t need wars” – Brazilian president talks on uniting South America

Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has stood firmly on the position that his country does not support any acts of war, as it works on creating partnerships and peaceful relationships that will bring about prosperity.
The Brazilian Head of State made this disclosure as he addressed media operatives during a press conference on Thursday, shortly after meeting with President Irfaan Ali.
The integration with Guyana, according to him, is part of a strategy towards working intensively to keep South America as a peace zone.
“We don’t need wars. War brings destruction, destroys infrastructure, destroys lives and brings suffering. Peace brings prosperity, education, job creation, and tranquillity to the human being. This is the role that Brazil intends to play in South America and the world,” President Lula stressed.
In return, President Ali expressed his appreciation to President Lula and the Brazilian Government for the consistent and principled support in favor of peaceful settlement of disputes in the South American region, in accordance with international law.
Ali also recognised Brazil for the critical role of facilitating dialogue for peace and cooperation between Guyana and Venezuela, within the context of the Argyle Declaration.
The Guyanese president’s comments come weeks after engagement with his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolás Maduro in St Vincent and the Grenadines back in December. That engagement initiated out of concerns by regional leaders after the Maduro Government held a referendum on December 3, 2023 with the aim of annexing Guyana’s Essequibo region – two-thirds of the country’s territory.
The Caricom/CELAC/Brazil-brokered meeting was geared towards maintaining peace in the region. The talks were led by Prime Minister Gonsalves of St Vincent in his role as President Pro Tempore of CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), and supported by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Brazilian President also played a key role in organising the meeting.
Last month, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hugh Todd led a high-level delegation to Brasilia, Brazil to advance talks with Venezuelan officials in continuation of the progress made by their respective Presidents.
While making it clear that Guyana remains committed to resolving the border controversy before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Minister Todd had noted that, in the meantime, through the Argyle Agreement, the two countries could work together.
During the dialogue, Guyana’s delegation presented to the Venezuelan team several areas in which the two countries can collaborate: such as on tackling transnational and organised crimes, pursuing economic cooperation, dealing with the effects of climate change, and addressing the migration situation.
Minister Todd also suggested that the two countries could discuss agreements already entered into between them on drugs, Jet A1 Fuel, and matters relating to food security. He had also recommended that regional and hemispheric statements on peace and security could be a means of moving forward in the discussions.
International Law/ prosperous region
Meanwhile, Presidents Ali and Lula da Silva have underscored that international law, human rights, democracy, social justice, rule of law, and sustainable development are paramount pillars for a peaceful and prosperous region.
Thursday’s engagement also surrounded issues of regional and international concern including the situations in Haiti, Ukraine and Gaza. Both Presidents expressed their deep concern over the dramatic humanitarian situation in Gaza and echoed their call for an immediate ceasefire and the resumption of the peace process.
They reaffirmed the urgent need for a two-state solution, with a viable State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security, within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders. They also reiterated their unwavering support for Palestine`s full membership in the United Nations.
President Lula said, “We never wanted and we don’t want to have any kind of litigation with any country in the world. Brazil wants peace, prosperity, economic growth and the improvement of lives of our people.”
The Brazilian Head of State will be attending the Summit for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in St Vincent and the Grenadines slated for March 1, 2024, where he is also anticipating peaceful outcomes.
“I do hope that we have a CELAC meeting that will be productive, in harmony and that all of us should leave that meeting talking about peace and prosperity and not in hatred.” (G12)