Thank you Mr. President, dear colleagues and friends,
I wish to start by congratulating Minister Urmas Reinsalu of Estonia for organizing this meeting, on the day where we mark the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2 in Europe, at a moment when we face perhaps the gravest challenge to the community of nations since those tragic days.
Why was the Second World War fought? People fought for human dignity, against racism, against anti-semitism. And people fought for freedom. Let us not forget that. Freedom does not come for free. Freedom requires the permanent will to fight, to protect it and to foster it. Hopefully we will never have to fight for freedom in all-out wars like that one, but we must fight everyday.
So here, today, we celebrate peace – a Peace that came from a fight, a just and necessary fight. Many millions of people shed their blood for freedom back then, among them many Brazilians, since Brazil took an important part in the war effort, sending 25,000 troops to fight in Italy along with the Allies against Nazi forces. To have helped liberate Italy and thus Europe from Nazi-fascist tyranny is perhaps Brazil´s greatest pride.
Seventy-five years ago, freedom and democracy prevailed against totalitarianism thanks to the sacrifice of real people: of Americans, Russians, British, Poles, Estonians, Canadians, French, Chinese, Brazilians and many others. But another form of totalitarianism, after the War, threw its shadow for a long time over half of mankind. That form of totalitarianism, during the following decades, tried to manipulate the United Nations in its favor. That form of totalitarianism tried to hijack and pervert this noble endeavor which is the Organization of the United Nations. The ideology at the core of that form of totalitarianism is unfortunately not dead. Along the years, that ideology always has worked by that same principle of hijack-and-pervert. They tried to hijack and pervert noble causes and concepts, such as human rights, justice, environmental protection. Let us not allow health to be one more victim to be hijacked by that ideology, and perverted to serve totalitarian goals.
Let us liberate all those good and noble causes, such as human rights, justice, and the environment. Let us free them from the manipulation and enslavement to totalitarian ideologies.
We are committed to working constructively in international fora. But I think we should avoid the word “multilateralism” to talk about international or multilateral institutions. Words ending in “ism” normally designate ideologies: Fascism, Nazism and Communism. Let’s not make “multilateralism” an ideology. The opposite of all ideologies is not another ideology. The opposite of all ideologies is freedom. You notice that we don´t say “freedomism”. We say freedom. So let´s make multilateralism not another system of thought that denies reality and tries to impose itself on reality. Let´s make multilateral institutions a platform to work for truth and for freedom.
The COVID pandemic is probably the largest crisis since World War 2. Let us not leave another form of totalitarianism to emerge now, as the one that emerged after World War 2. Indeed a new order will certainly emerge from this crisis, we just don´t know yet what shape it will take.
This new order to emerge will either have more freedom or it will have less freedom. It will either have more human dignity or less human dignity. And the option we all prefer, the road we all want to transit, the road towards more freedom and more human dignity, is the road of nations.
Nations are not the problem. Nations are the good guys in this picture. Nations, acting in coordination of course, through this UN and other fora. The Organization of the United Nations must be thus space for coordination among independent nations, not an instrument to replace them.
The countries gathered here must use this space to identify the challenges facing mankind today. If the Organization of the United Nations ignores the real challenges of today and instead opts for politically correct gibberish, its role will be diminished.
The UN must not be an effort to find common ground between freedom and totalitarianism, let alone to promote totalitarianism by stealth.
Freedom and democracy must be at the core of the UN endeavor. And the source of democracy are the people. People organized in Nation-States, with their sovereignty, proud of themselves.
Brazil today unequivocally stands for democracy and for sovereignty. The sovereignty of free people. Let us not fall in the error of bashing those who stand for sovereignty, let us not despise those who stand for the national sentiment. Without sovereign nations, there is no freedom. This postulate does not come from abstract logic, it comes from history, from the real sacrifice of millions of people, from the nature of things, from the essence of the human being.
So national sentiment is not the problem of the world today. Rather, the problem is the erosion of sovereignty, which leaves nations prone to the loss of freedom.
In Brazil, we are striving to put the “demos”, the people, back in democracy as our Constitution says that all power emanates from the people. That is the way to freedom. And Brazil today, just like we did in the Second World War, stands for freedom.