Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: Investing in the Brazil of Tomorrow

Last Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 at Sciences Po, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (better known by the name of “Lula”) was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd. Students, representatives from the United Nations, and diplomates alike were all in attendance, eager to hear his thoughts on the role that Brazil will play in tomorrow’s world.

Laurence Bertrand Dorléac, Head of the FNSP Board of Directors, began the event by reminding the audience that 10 years ago, Lula became the 16th Doctor Honoris Causa at Sciences Po. She went on to highlight the close ties that Sciences Po has developed with Brazil throughout the years by welcoming more than 100 Brazilian students to Sciences Po each year, with the 17 partner universities in Brazil and the attention paid to equal opportunity, with their fight for equality and, on a larger scale, a more inclusive educational model.

Professor Olivier Dabène, President of the Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean (OPALC) reminded the audience that “the world needs a strong Brazil”, asking, “When a country is isolated, how can it regain the international stage? How can multilateralism be reinstated?”

Having laid the foundations for the reflections to come, Lula took the stage to touch upon a wide range of topics: from education, to the state of the world, to poverty and the environment, and of course, the current state of affairs in Brazil.

Regaining the International Stage

For Lula, Brazil’s place on the international scene and its trajectory are pivotal. As he emphasized, “Brazil’s political and diplomatic isolation is harmful to the international community”. Indeed, throughout his talk, he advocated for a Brazil that will be able to regain the international stage and a voice in international affairs.

Lula went on to explain the importance of re-establishing ties with other countries to ensure Brazil's future. By noting the meetings he would have with Germany’s future Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President Emmanuel Macron, and other European leaders, Lula emphasised the importance of multilateral exchange in building a better world.

Lula reminded the audience that, without improvements on a national scale, it will be difficult for Brazil to regain the international stage. He went on to explore these ideas in detail, noting that investments will play a key role in the construction of the Brazil of tomorrow.

Brazil’s Future Through Investments for the People

In order to achieve this goal, Lula emphasised the importance of choosing investments that benefit the country as a whole. As he noted, “Good money is that which is turned into investments, education, public work, universities, sciences, and technology.”

Placing the people themselves at the heart of his talk, Lula spoke of the high rates of unemployment in Brazil, of the cost of living that is on the rise, and consequently, high rates of poverty. To help construct a stronger Brazil, he asked Brazilian students returning to their home country to invest their time and energy in helping those living in poverty and struggling to nourish themselves, which, in his words, “...is the very least we can do.” 

It is with this human aspect that Lula concluded his talk, asking the audience to, “Keep learning and be generous with those who have not had the same opportunities as you.”

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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