Brazilian President Lula weighs in on the BRIC summit where Brazil, Russia, India, and China showed they are committed to building a joint diplomatic and creative approach to world issues.
The term "BRIC" was coined only 10 years ago as an acronym meant to capture the new reality that Brazil, Russia, India, and China together had come to account for 15 percent of the world's gross domestic product.
We are countries where everything happens on a large scale. We represent nearly one-half of the world's population and 20 percent of its land surface, and are rich in natural resources.
Today, the BRICs have become essential players in major international decisionmaking. As such, we are acutely aware of our potential as agents of change in making global governance both more transparent and democratic.
This is the message Brazil offered at the second BRIC summit, held here in Brasilia, where the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China gathered on April 15. We are committed to building a joint diplomatic and creative approach with our BRIC partners in order to tackle such global challenges as food security and energy production in the context of climate change.
The real baptism by fire of the group occurred during the financial crisis of the past two years. Far from diminishing our weight, our collective strategies enabled us to hold our own. In fact, the sound response of the four countries to the crisis of the developed world opened up new alternatives to the shabby dogma inherited from the past.
The collapse of financial markets revealed the failure of paradigms previously considered to be unquestionable. Truths about market deregulation collapsed. The ideal of a minimal state also collapsed. The easing of labor rights is no longer a mantra to fight unemployment.
When all these orthodoxies collapsed, the visible hand of the state protected the economic system from the failure created by the invisible hand of the market.
While some of the major countries let speculative excesses flourish, BRIC countries promoted growth focused on work and prudence. In Brazil, we never lost sight of the need to tackle social inequality, lifting 20 million Brazilians out of poverty since 2003 and making them full citizens.
At the Group of 20 summit, we proposed anticyclical policies, market regulation, curbing tax havens, and renewal of the Bretton Woods institutions. On this last score, we are determined not to let the incipient signs of recovery in the global economy serve as an excuse for abandoning a democratic remodel of these organizations. The BRIC members have not injected nearly $100 billion into the International Monetary Fund just to leave everything as it was before. …