The Global South does not view the war in Ukraine as the North does. Neither Africa nor Latin America has the same perception as Europe, on whose soil war has been going on since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Of course, the poorest regions of the planet suffer from shortages. Supply, price growth and geopolitical instability. But they also know that there are open conflicts in many areas of the planet, which do not cause much interest to the European Union and NATO.
And this was confirmed at the first session of the EU-SELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) summit: the joint declaration does not stop because of wording related to war, as well as references to European colonialism. The vision of the war is so divisive that European Council President Charles Michel decided not to invite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to intervene in the summit.
The UN vote includes Latin American countries such as Nicaragua, which voted in favor of resolutions condemning Russia, and others that abstained, such as Cuba and El Salvador, or did not, such as Venezuela. And that is the challenge these days in Brussels: to find a text that Nicaragua and Poland can subscribe to at the same time, for example, the main hawk European about the war in Ukraine.
In his inaugural speech, Brazilian President Lula da Silva said: “The war in Ukraine is another proof that the UN Security Council is unable to deal with the challenges we face today in terms of peace and security. Often its own members do not respect the Charter of the United Nations. In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, we do not accept the use of force as a means of settling disputes.”
“Brazil supports all the initiatives promoted by different countries and regions that call for an immediate ceasefire, a cessation of hostilities and a negotiated peace,” he argued: “The use of sanctions and blockades without the support of international law is what it only serves . The most vulnerable parts of the population should be fined. We need peace to meet the great challenges we face. And this implies deep systemic changes. Dividing the world into antagonistic blocs would be madness. We cannot leave global governance for later.”
Lula recalls that “the war in the heart of Europe has led to an increase in hunger for inequality and, at the same time, an increase in global military spending. Instead of ending hunger for so many millions of people, we spend billions of dollars fueling a war machine that only produces war, destruction, and more hunger. This summit between the EU and Celac is the time to say enough is enough. Another world is possible, which we all have to build together.”
Similarly, the current president of Selac, Ralph Gonsalves, head of the executive of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, stated: “War continues to consume enormous resources and cause unnecessary bloodshed. And the world economy is also bleeding needlessly, as war and fighting cause enormous additional pain and suffering to the poor in far-flung countries through soaring food, oil and credit prices. Let there be constructive peace negotiations, not the unproductive posturing of hegemony or imperial domination.”
“Of course,” he continued, “Ukraine is not the only theater of war or armed conflict that destroys populations and destroys lives and livelihoods beyond the dangerous battlefields: the people of Haiti, the Palestinians, various populations. Parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia have more immediate challenges. And they wonder what disproportionate global importance it is given [a Ucrania] And with the tormenting unanswered questions arising from an unbalanced world, haunted by the ghosts of the past that have not yet been banished from the minds of those who have dominated the world’s political economy since the eighteenth century.
“However,” Gonsalves said, “what is happening in Ukraine has lasting significance not only for the combatants involved, but for all of humanity. Hence the reasonable demand for a cessation of hostilities and a negotiated peace.”
On the other hand, Honduran President Xiomara Castro, the future president of Celac, said in a speech before the plenary session: “The war in Ukraine must end. The EU and Selac are committed to finding a way to achieve peace. We can’t live with the nightmare that any day hell will descend on all of us. Billions of dollars worth of weapons are sent for war, but we cannot achieve the integral development of humanity with the Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the United Nations in the 2030 Agenda.
A high-ranking Honduran official also called for the summit to approve “a resolution calling for an end to the blockade of Cuba.” And he asked: “Piracy and asset confiscation must end because we all face the fact that one day we will find our reserves frozen in foreign banks. We are raising our voices to restore the heritage illegally taken from the Venezuelan people and to remove the barriers that prevent us from normalizing our commercial relations, such as with Nicaragua.
Source: El Diario