Rousseff Defends ‘Economic Acceleration’ with ‘Sustainability’

HAVANA TIMES, Jan 28 (dpa) — In her speech before the World Social Forum in southern Brazil, that country’s president, Dilma Roussef, previewed the position of her government in the forthcoming “Rio+20” UN  conference on sustainable development.

The head of state spoke to an audience of nearly 4,000 people on Thursday night in the expansive “Gigantinho” gymnasium in Porto Alegre – the city that hosted the first World social Forum in 2001.

Rousseff emphasized how since that time “Porto Alegre became a point of reference” for people who “didn’t succumb to one sole way of thinking” and who refused to believe in the “end of history.”
She explained that the consequences of the capitalist crisis in the “developed world” have been “disastrous,” while she also criticized the austerity measures being adopted in Europe, since they generate massive social inequality and youth unemployment.

In addition, she stated that despite this situation of general economic crisis, Brazil and parts of Latin America “are growing while other countries remain stagnant.”

Rousseff said that in the UN “Rio+20” Conference, the Brazilian government will defend development that includes three spheres: economic, social and environmental.

However, the president did not mention the planned “People’s Summit,” which will run parallel to the Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June. That meeting is set to criticize the proposed alternative “green economy” for not questioning the models of capitalist production and consumption.

Criticism is also expected to be presented of the so-called “carbon market” (a market-based approach to controlling pollution through economic incentives for reducing pollutant emissions), which has been a policy advocated in the Rio+20 gathering.

Rousseff was received with applause by the vast majority of those present in the gathering called “Dialogue between Civil Society and Government.” However, she couldn’t escape the criticism that circulated at the Social Forum.

Some of the public questioned Brazil’s environmental policy with the cry of “Veto it Dilma,” referring to the land use bill currently before the country’s congress and that could lead to increased deforestation.
Note: The president of Brazil will be in Cuba for an official visit on Tuesday, January 31.