Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva continues his visit to the United Arab Emirates. He told the media in Abu Dhabi last Sunday that he had discussed the idea of joint mediation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict with China and the United Arab Emirates.
Lula explained that he wanted to follow the model of G20, gather a group of leaders who “would rather talk about peace than war”, and form a group of countries dedicated to conflict mediation, and have a dialogue with Russia and Ukraine, as well as the United States and the European Union. “The G-20 was established to save the global economy that was in crisis at that time. What is important now is to establish a similar organization to end this war and establish peace, “he said.
In addition, Lula also expressed his dissatisfaction with the Western position on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In the United Arab Emirates, Lula accused “Europe of delaying the war”. During his trip to China last week, he accused “the United States of encouraging the Ukrainian war”.
In fact, Lula mentioned the idea of establishing a “peace club” several months ago. Lula expressed this plan to US President Biden during his visit to the United States in February. He said that members of BRICS countries such as China and India, as well as Indonesian and Turkish countries should be included.
However, some western media have doubts about this idea. Carlos Solar, a senior researcher at the Royal Institute of Joint Services, a London-based defense and security think tank, said that Lula saw a critical moment in resolving the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but for the idea of a peace club to work, it was necessary to convince all parties concerned to regard it as a fair mediator. Ryan Berg, a senior researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the United States, expressed doubts about whether Brazil can shoulder this heavy responsibility. In addition, he said that Brazil and Russia are both members of the BRICS group and questioned whether Brazil can become a “neutral arbitrator”.
Lula said in his speech in the United Arab Emirates that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine was caused by both sides, while Europe and the United States continued to add fuel to the fire. It is time to return to the negotiating table. In addition, Lula also pulled the United Arab Emirates out of the BRICS countries. In the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the UAE maintains a neutral attitude. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and other countries are also non-permanent members of the Security Council this year.
Regarding whether Brazil is qualified for this important mediation task, Gilberto MarRodriguez, an associate professor at ABC Federal University in Brazil, pointed out that Brazil is currently a non-permanent member of the United Nations and a Latin American country with the best conditions to play a role in promoting peace.
It is not surprising that Brazil is now showing ambition in international affairs. Lula, who was elected president for the third time, made foreign policy a priority at the beginning of his tenure. He advocated regional integration in South America and international cooperation in tackling climate change, while repositioning Brazil as a non-aligned global power and a leader of southern countries.
“The BRICS countries are accelerating to shape a new world order and become a new platform for geopolitics, economy and diplomacy in the global south,” Gulf News, a UAE media, wrote in an article earlier this month. Although the West tries to downplay the role of BRICS in shaping the new world order, the change is real and irreversible.
BRICS countries currently include China, Brazil, Russian, Indian and South Africa. According to the latest data of the International Monetary Fund, the GDP contribution of these five economies has surpassed that of the Group of Seven, which consists of seven developed countries. In terms of the share of global GDP calculated by purchasing power parity, the contribution rate of BRICS countries is 31.5%, exceeding the 30.7% of G7.