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EDITIONS
 Sunday, 26 January, 2003, 17:45 GMT
Lula champions poverty fund
Boy sells rattlesnakes in Mexico to make a meagre living
Lula is challenging the rich world's aloofness

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has called for the creation of a global anti-poverty fund.

He told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that he hoped his idea would win support from the G-7 group of rich countries.

Lula in Davos
Brazil cannot continue to be a sleeping giant

Lula
The presence in Davos of Brazil's first left-wing president for 40 years is being seen as highly significant because of his ability to build bridges with the anti-globalisation movement.

Just a year ago, Lula da Silva was the leader of Brazil's left-wing opposition, a man regarded with suspicion by international financiers and a regular presence at the anti-globalisation movement's answer to Davos - the World Social Forum.

Since then, he has seen his status transformed, first by his election victory and later by the markets' realisation that the new Brazilian government intends to pursue orthodox economic policies.

Lula's decision to go to Davos this year after an appearance at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre was criticised by some left-wingers in his own party.

But in his speech, he said he made no apologies, adding that there was no point in talking only to the people you already agreed with.

Fair share for all

Lula's speech emphasised a common global agenda directed at achieving growth alongside better income distribution and social conditions.

He called for developed countries to share scientific and technological advances with poorer nations and proposed the creation of a global anti-poverty fund.

And he had harsh words for what he called the protectionism of rich countries, saying that they preached but did not practice free trade.

In what has already become a theme of his one-month-old presidency, Lula stressed that Brazil intended to play a more active role in world affairs.

It could, he said, no longer be a sleeping giant.



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28 Oct 02 | Americas
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