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In Brazil, a G20 divided and blocked by the “impasse” on Ukraine and Gaza

The first meeting of the year of G20 finance ministers concluded on Thursday at the end of the year. Sao Paulo without reaching à a press release spouse, due to "the impasse" created by divisions over the wars in Ukraine and abroad. Gaza.

Brazil, which has been at the head of the group since December, has an ambitious program to combat inequalities and climate change and to raise the voice of the “Global South”, of which Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is champion.

But these priorities were eclipsed during the two-day meeting of the big financiers of the G20 in the Brazilian megalopolis.

“As happens quite frequently, a (joint) press release is not possible” due to disagreements linked to “geopolitical conflicts”, explained Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad at a press conference.

He did not explicitly mention the Russian invasion of Ukraine or the Israeli military offensive against the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“We had the hope that the most sensitive themes relating to geopolitics would be debated exclusively by diplomats,” continued the Brazilian minister, referring to the meeting of G20 foreign ministers held last week in Rio de Janeiro.

“As there was no joint drafting (of a press release in Rio), this ended up contaminating the obtaining of “a consensus” in Sao Paulo, he lamented, reporting an “impasse”.

– No “business as usual” –

Since its beginning two years ago, the war in Ukraine has torn the G20 apart, between the Western countries allied with Kiev on one side and Russia on the other, which takes care of its relations with other important members such as Brazil, China or India.

The group is also divided on Gaza, with the United States and its allies more reluctant to condemn Israel than other nations who denounce the catastrophic humanitarian crisis experienced by Palestinians in the territory.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner told journalists on Thursday morning that it was important for current conflicts to be discussed frankly.

“There is no 'business as usual' (we cannot act as if nothing had happened, editor's note) during the G20, because we have a war against Ukraine, we have the terror of Hamas and we “We have the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and all this cannot leave us indifferent, all this must also be discussed here”, he insisted.

A source close to the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, also stressed that France wanted to “name Russia as the aggressor, Ukraine as the victim of Russian aggression”.

The ministerial meetings serve to prepare the ground for the meeting of heads of state and government in November in Rio.

– Tax the billionaires –

In the absence of a joint press release, Brazil had to content itself with publishing a “summary of the Brazilian presidency” of the G20 on the meeting.< /p>

Among the “multiple challenges” weighing on the global economy are “conflicts in many regions of the world, geo-economic tensions, persistent inequalities, poverty, malnutrition and diseases”, details this document.

Brazil had chosen among the priority themes of the Sao Paulo meeting the reduction of inequalities, minimum taxation of the “super-rich” on an international scale and the debt of developing countries.

The Brazilian minister urged to “find effective solutions for the super-rich to pay their fair share of taxes” through a system of minimum taxation of billionaires internationally.

In Brazil, a G20 divided and blocked by the “impasse” on Ukraine and Gaza

Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad at the G20 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 29, 2024 © AFP – Nelson ALMEIDA

He hopes for agreement on a joint declaration on this subject by the next G20 ministerial meeting in July. But this theme did not find its place in the document published by the Brazilian authorities.

Founded in 1999, the G20 represents more than 80% of world GDP, the three quarters of world trade and two thirds of the world population.

Today it has 21 members: the 19 leading economies on the planet, as well as the Union European Union and, for the first time this year, the African Union.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116