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Creating a New Model of DevelopmentDilma Rousseff, President, Brazil040 sustainable development - rio +20

" According to the United Nations, no other country has done more than Brazil to reduce GHG emissions "The financial crisis and the uncertainties around the global economy attach a special significance to the Rio+20. Much of the developed world seeks to address the crisis with regressive fiscal measures, which have adverse social and environmental consequences, and generate dangerous threats, such as unemployment, xenophobia, authoritarianism, disregard for tackling climate change, and threats to world peace.I was in Cannes at the G-20 Summit, where new ideas for a new world were at the table. Despite the progress achieved at that meeting, I confess that I was not satisfied with the results. It is not easy to produce new ideas and alternatives when we are dominated by political and ideological prejudices. We know this story all too well. In the 80s and 90s, faced with deep macroeconomic imbalances, political and ideological prejudices forced on Latin America a conservative model that led our countries to stagnation, to the loss of democratic and sovereign spaces, to increasing poverty, to unemployment and to social exclusion. Today, these failed recipes are being proposed once again in Europe.Rio+20, which will be attended by Heads of State and Government, but also by significant sectors of civil society, should be an important step in the process of renewal of ideas - unlike the so-called Conferences of the Parties, the COPs. While also addressing important environmental issues and problems linked to climate change, the Rio meeting will address a much broader and more decisive issue: a new development model, comprising three dimensions - economic, social and environmental.We want the word "development" to appear, from now on, always associated with the term "sustainable". Together with the Millennium Development Goals, we need to set the goals for sustainable development. These goals, including commitments and targets for all countries in the world, should have at its core the fight against poverty and inequality, as well as the environmental sustainability.We believe here, as we did during the Government of President Lula, that it is possible to grow and to include, to protect and to conserve. Rio+20 will discuss a development model capable of linking growth and job creation, poverty eradication and inequality reduction, social participation and expansion of rights, education and technological innovation, sustainable use and preservation of environmental resources.Three years ago, in Copenhagen, our Government has taken on new responsibilities in matters related to climate change. We presented in Copenhagen - for the world and for us here in Brazil - a voluntary pledge to a significant reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases. Unfortunately, some other countries were reluctant then - and are reluctant even today - to announce similar efforts. According to the United Nations, no other country has done more than Brazil to reduce GHG emissions. These commitments are part of a great transformation underway in our country over the past nine years.In my Government, when we talk about sustainable development, and I want to stress this point, we talk about accelerated growth of our economy in order to distribute wealth, in order to create formal jobs and to increase the income of workers. It means income distribution to eradicate extreme poverty and to reduce poverty, including public policies to improve education, health, public safety and all public services provided by the Brazilian Government. It means a balanced regional growth so as to correct the inequality between the regions in Brazil, to address the low levels of development in some parts of the country, such as the North and the Northeast. It means creating a vast market of mass consumption goods, which will provide the internal support to our development. It also means that Brazil is becoming, and we will become, a country of middle classes from a socioeconomic perspective. It means development with environmental sustainability as a prerequisite.Our choices in energy, food security, infrastructure and technological innovation take into account the sustainable use of our environmental resources. Furthermore, sustainable development means strengthening the mechanisms of social participation and the strengthening of our democracy, it means encouraging and defending our values, our culture, and our cultural diversity. Finally, it means a sovereign and competitive insertion in the world.The big knot that President Lula began in 2003 to unravel was the exclusion and social inequality. We are winning this battle, as shown by the 40 million Brazilians who have left poverty and rose to the middle classes. And our efforts to address the social challenges in the coming years are exemplified by our determination to enforce the Brazil Without Extreme Poverty ("Brasil sem Miséria") programme.The place that Brazil today occupies in the world is not the result of any economic miracle, as it happened in the past. It is the result of efforts of the Brazilian people and their Government, who knew how to choose a new path. Today, Brazil is another country. Nobody, no group can get us out of this path. We are now a stronger country, more developed and more respected. A country that lives in harmony with its neighbors in South America and Latin America and the Caribbean, and with them wants to build a beacon of development and democracy in the world. nPresident Dilma Rousseff delivered the above remarks as part of her address to the World Social Forum of Porto Alegre, Brazil, on 26 January 2012. Pictured: Dilma Rousseffsustainable development - rio +20 041