This is the letter I will present to the Norwegian Nobel Committee in September 2018, nominating Luiz Inácio “Lula” Da Silva to the Nobel Peace Prize. I invite you to join the campaign #NobelparaLula, to persuade people to apply for it in accordance with the norms of the Nobel Committee. The English version its below.

 

To the Norwegian Nobel Committee

President Berit Reiss-Andersen

Vice President Henrik Syse

Members: Thorbjørn Jagland, Anne Enger and Asle Toje.  

 

Receive my fraternal and cordial greetings of Peace and Good.  

 

Through this letter, I would like to present to this Committee the candidacy for the Nobel Peace Prize of Luiz Inácio “Lula” Da Silva, Former President of the Federal Republic of Brazil between 2003 and 2010, who throughout his social commitments to trade unions and as a politician, developed public policies to overcome hunger and poverty in his country, one of the most structural inequality in the world.  

 

As you well know, peace is not only the absence of war, or the death of one or many people, peace is also to give hope to the future of the people, especially to the most vulnerable sectors, victims of the “culture of discarding” as Pope Francis speaks about. Peace is to include and protect those whom today’s economic system condemns to death and multiple violence. According to the latest report of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of 2017, hunger affects more than 815 million people in the world. It is a plague and a crime suffered by peoples subjected to poverty and marginality, who are robbed of life and hope for generations. For this reason, if a national government becomes a global example of the fight against poverty and inequality, against structural violence that afflicts us as humanity, such government deserves recognition for its contribution to peace for the humanity.  

 

“Lula” da Silva had amongst its government’s fundamental axes a commitment to the poor by implementing public policies to overcome hunger and poverty. In January 2003, in his inaugural address to the Presidency of the Republic, he stated: “We are going to create the conditions that all people in our country can eat decently three times a day, every day, without the need of charitable donations from anyone. Brazil can no longer coexist with so much inequality. We need to overcome hunger, poverty and social exclusion. Our war is not to kill anyone: it is to save lives. ” And indeed, the programs “Zero Hunger” and “Bolsa Família” lifted more than 30 million people out of extreme poverty, making Brazil a successful model and worldwide recognized by international organizations such as FAO, the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP) and the World Bank.  

 

–       The percentage of people living on less than US $ 3.10 per day fell from 11% in 2003 to around 4% in 2012, according to World Bank data.

 

–       There was a reduction in the unemployment rate close to 50% according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). And also the creation of 15 million new job positions, according to data from the Ministry of Labour.

 

–       According to the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA), the Brazilian Gini coefficient was 0.583 in 2003, and in 2014 it was 0.518, which indicates that the social policies applied by the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT- Labor Party) left Brazil with less social inequality, on the average, the inequality fell 0.9% per year, in the period between 2003-2016.

 

–       The implementation of education and collective health programs raised the Human Development Index (HDI) of Brazil, an index elaborated by UNDP, which shows that in 2010, reached US$ 10,607 annual average income, a life expectancy of 72.9 years, a schooling of 7.2 years of study, and a school life expectancy of 13.8 years.  

 

Lula government was a democratic and participatory construction, with non-violent means, that raised the population’s standard of living and gave hope to the most needy sectors. The world recognizes that there was a before and an after in the history of the inequality in Brazil after the two presidencies of Luiz Inácio Da Silva.   

 

The contribution of “Lula” to Peace is in actually a concrete fact in the lives of the Brazilian people, and reinforced by studies of various international organizations.  

 

These results of the PT government programs in Brazil to overcome poverty and hunger were not a state policy that other government parties have taken on but a specific government policy that Brazil is gradually abandoning.

 

This is demonstrated by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which announced that in 2017, Brazil had more than 3 million new poor people because of the policies of the current government.   For the reasons above, with the same sense of hope that Martin Luther King conveyed when he said “even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree,” we are many who believe that the Nobel Peace Prize for “Lula” da Silva will help strengthen the hope of being able to continue building a new beginning to dignify of the tree of life.

 

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

Nobel Peace Prize 1980

 

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