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Rousseff: Non-compliance with int’l law fuelled refugee crisis
September 28, 2015, 2:54 pm

Rousseff also pledged to fight deforestation in the Amazon rainforest [File]

Rousseff also pledged to fight deforestation in the Amazon rainforest [File]


Calling on the United Nations to take a greater role in global conflict resolution, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told the General Assembly Monday that violations of international law in the Middle East created the refugee crisis.

“The refugees come from the Middle East and North Africa, from countries where state institutions have been destructured by military actions contrary to international law thus making room for the proliferation of terrorism,” she said.

Rousseff also pointed to the media focus on the body of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old child refugee, which washed up on a Turkish shore last month.

“The indignation caused by this picture and the news of 71 refugees who asphyxiated inside a truck in Austria should be translated into unmistakable actions [taken by the international community],” Rousseff added.

“We have our arms open to welcome refugees – we are a multi-ethnic nation,” she said.

She called on the United Nations to act swiftly and decisively in international crises, including moving toward the creation of an independent Palestinian state. She condemned the building of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands.

UN reforms

But Rousseff also highlighted a longstanding grievance of developing countries about the need to not only reform the Security Council but also to expand its membership in tandem with new geopolitical realities.

“For the UN to continue to take a central role, the UNSC needs to expand its permanent and non-permanent membership in order to become more representative, more legitimate and therefore more effective,” Rousseff told the General Assembly.

She said Brazil hopes that the current 70th session of the General Assembly would mark a turning point in regards to the reform process, which she described as so far “inconclusive”.

Meanwhile, Rousseff lauded the rapprochement and resumption of ties between Cuba and the US, as well as the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The Brazilian president called for the international community to share in a common goal on climate change ahead of a critical environment summit in Paris later this year.

“Brazil is making a substantial effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without nevertheless impairing our development,” she said about her country’s environmental policies.

“We are currently investing in low-carbon agriculture and have reduced deforestation in the Amazon region by 82 per cent,” Rousseff added.

Last week, Brazil announced it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by 43 per cent (taking 2005 as the baseline year). The Brazilian government also aims to eradicate illegal deforestation by 2030 and carry out reforestation of 12 million hectares within the same time period.

The BRICS Post

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