Brazil pushes UN overhaul at meeting of G20 ministers in Rio

Brazil pushes UN overhaul at meeting of G20 ministers in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO-- Brazil opened a conference of foreign ministers from the G20 group of nations on Wednesday by blaming the United Nations and other multinational bodies for failing to stop mounting wars and conflicts that are killing innocent people.

Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira called for "profound reform" of global governance as Brazil's top priority for its presidency this year of the group of the world's largest economies. "Multilateral institutions are not adequately equipped to deal with current challenges, as demonstrated by the Security Council's unacceptable paralysis in relation to ongoing conflicts," Vieira said at the opening of a two-day meeting to prepare the agenda for the G20 annual summit in November. "This state of inaction results in the loss of innocent lives," he said. Ministers from the G20 nations, including the United States and Russia, began a free discussion of current world tensions and ways to improve multilateral organizations — a priority set by Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, along with curbing climate change and reducing poverty. But with continued fighting between Russia and Ukraine and Israel's invasion of Gaza, diplomats are not optimistic that proposals to upgrade global governance will advance easily within the G20. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Lula in Brasilia on his way to the Rio meeting and expressed U.S. support for Brazil's agenda to make global governance more effective, spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters. The top U.S. diplomat discussed Israel's war in Gaza with Lula, amid a diplomatic spat after the Brazilian leader likened Israel's war to the Nazi genocide during World War Two. Lula has criticized the United Nations for failing to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and his accusations last week of atrocities by Israel in Gaza triggered a diplomatic crisis with an Israeli reprimand and Brazil recalling its ambassador. Brazil does not accept a world in which differences are resolved through the use of military force, Vieira said. "A very significant portion of the world has made a choice for peace and does not accept being involved in conflicts driven by other nations," he said. Brazil's quest for wider representation in an expanded U.N. Security Council reflecting a changing world was backed by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, despite the difficulty in obtaining consensus. "The Security Council needs to adapt to the geopolitical shift and become more efficient in a changing world ...the global community is facing multiple crises," she told the meeting, according to her press spokesperson. Brazil's G20 sherpa, diplomat Mauricio Lyrio, said on Tuesday that the lack of effective global governance to deal with the world's challenges has led to an unprecedented proliferation of conflicts. Lyrio said there was growing consensus on the need to overhaul the United Nations, where Brazil has advocated the expansion of the Security Council, a proposal that has not advanced due to the resistance of nations with veto power.

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