Internationalization of the world – Cristovam Buarque

I did not write (or translated) this text, but it is one of my favorite speeches of all times. Brazilian Senator Cristovam Buarque gave a lecture at the New York University in 2000, and after the lecture he was questioned about the internalization of the Amazon region. Here we go:

“During a recent discussion, in the United States, someone asked my opinion regarding the internationalization of the Amazon Region. The youngster asserted that he expected a response of a humanist and not of a Brazilian.

This was the first time anyone had established the humanist viewpoint as the starting point for my response. In fact, as a Brazilian I would have responded simply against internationalization of the Amazon Region. Even if our governments have not given the attention that this treasure deserves, it is ours. I responded that, as a humanist, realizing the risk of environmental destruction that threatens the Amazon Region, I could imagine its internationalization, just as for everything else that is important to humanity.

If the Amazon Region, from a humanist΄s point of view, has to be internationalized, then we should internationalize the oil reserves of the entire the world as well. Oil is just as important to the well being of humanity as the Amazon Region for our future. Nevertheless, the owners of oil reserves feel it is in their right to increase or decrease oil production and to raise or lower the price. The rich of the world, feel they have the right to burn this valuable possession of humanity. Similarly, the financial capital of the wealthy nations should be internationalized. If the Amazon Region is a natural reserve for every human being, then it could not be burned down by the decision of a landowner or a country. To burn down the Amazon Region is so tragic, as the unemployment provoked by the arbitrary decisions of world wide speculators. We cannot permit that the world΄s financial reserves serve to burn down entire nations according to the whims of speculacion.

Before the (internationalization of the) Amazon Region, I would like to see the internationalization of all the world΄s great museums. The Lourve cannot belong only to France. Each museum in the world is a guardian for the most beautiful works produced by the human genius. It cannot be permitted that these cultural possessions, as the natural posession of the Amazon Region, can be manipulated or be destroyed according to the whims of an owner or a country. Recently, a Japanese millionaire decided to have a painting of a grand master burried with him in the grave. This painting should have been internationalized.

At the time of the meeting, in which this question came up, the United Nations convened the Forum of the Millennium and the presidents of several countries had difficulties in attending due to barriers (they faced) at the border. Therefore, I contend that New York, as the base of the United Nations, should be internationalized. At least Manhattan should belong to all of humanity. Similarly Paris, Venice, Rome, London, Rio de Janeiro, Brazilia, Recife, every city with its own beauty, its own history should belong to the whole world.

If the United States wants to internationalize the Amazon Region, due to the risk of leaving it in Brazilian hands, then we should internationalize all the nuclear stockpiles of the United States. Particularly since they have already shown that they are capable of using these weapons, causing a destruction thousands of times greater than the sad fires taken place in the Brazilian forests.

During their debates, the current U.S. presidential candidates have defended the idea of internationalizing the world forest reserves in exchange for the debt. We could begin to use this debt to guarantee the right of every child in the world to attend school. We could internationalize the children, treating all of them, regardless of their birthplace, as a posession which deserves the care and attention of the entire world. Even more so than the Amazon Region. When the world leaders attend to the world΄s poor children as possessions of Humanity, they will no longer permit that these children work when they should be studying, that they die when they should be living.

As a humanist I accept to defend the internationalization of the world. So long as the world treats me as a Brazilian, I will fight so that our Amazon Region will be ours. Only ours.”

Text by Cristovam Buarque (Professor of Brasilia University, ex-governor of Brasilia, D.F. and Brazilian Senator). As reported in the Brazilian Daily O Globo on the 23rd of October, 2000.

(I found the translation on the following website: http://www.diaplous.org/amazo.htm)

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Arquivado em Brasil, Curiosidades, Posts in English

20 Respostas para “Internationalization of the world – Cristovam Buarque

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Brazil: Can the Amazon problem be solved with new management?

  2. Pingback: Eco-Rama » Brazil: Can the Amazon problem be solved with new management?

  3. Pingback: Brasil: ¿Puede solucionarse el problema del Amazonas con una nueva administración?

  4. overdue

    BTW, that “speech” was never made; it doesn’t exist.
    The whole thing is a hoax.
    Google it.

  5. Ana

    Hello overdue….

    I am sorry to inform you, but the speech was not a hoax, it happened at the University of New York in Sept of 2000. By this time, Mr. Buarque was in New York City participating in the “State of the World Forum” ( http://www.worldforum.org/overview.htm – for further information about the forum and http://www.simulconference.com/clients/sowf/ – for the 2000 forum) and a group of students from University of New York invited him to give a lecture. He wrote an article for the brazilian newspaper “O Globo”, which was published on 10/10/2000 based on the answer for a question a student asked him after his talk.

    The home page of the Senator has the original article, as well as an interview with him (well, in case you can understand Portuguese – http://cristovam.org.br/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=546&Itemid=2)

    This YouTube video ( http://br.youtube.com/watch?v=awniNjJ0eC0 ) was prepared for a talk in the University of Texas Pan American. One of the interviewed women is Emilia Queiroga, that was the Latin American representative in the State of the World forum in 2000, and the other one, Gisela Mattoso, was present at the lecture Cristovam Buarque gave, and both of them gave their account of the circumstances in that it happened.

    In this page http://socrates.berkeley.edu:7001/Events/fall2004/11-04-04-buarque/ you can find interesting information about a lecture Mr. Buarque gave at Berkeley University, about a different topic, but it helps at least to show that a man with his qualifications would certainly be able to delivery such a gracious speech. And, I am not talking about his experience in politics, but his academic background: he got a PhD in Economics from Sorbonne University, is a professor at Brasilia University where he served as a rector (or chancellor) and worked 7 years in the Inter-American Development Bank in Washing DC. And, as a young scientist, I know that lecturing at Berkeley University isn’t for anyone…

    As you see, it can be anything, BUT a hoax. Google it better next time.

  6. Flood

    This is right, this is not a hoax… but this article is sent by e-mail all over the world… with some false facts in it.
    And this part is a hoax…
    The version here seems really accurate from the original. Just one precision, it seems that he was not senator at that time… but who cares, it was him! :-)

    So, the best thing is to send the link of original texts, gives the source as Ana just did!

    In French,

    http://www.hoaxbuster.com/hoaxliste/hoax.php?idArticle=32481

  7. Sava Zxivanovich

    You are missing the point.

    Whoever wrote this article, wherever, whenever, he or she made a point – it is not possible to ask some countries to be responsible and some other to take care only of themselves.

  8. Natasa Maravic

    Bravo, bravo and bravo for Cristovam Buarque

  9. Natasa Maravic

    One more bravo and big hug from Belgrade – Serbia for Cristovam Buarque

  10. Carol

    I loved the speech he gave, i’m Brazilian and the fact that some country think they have the right to internationalize our forest it’s not acceptable.If they wanna talk about internationalization lets do it with all that matters to the world, with all that is important to humanity, otherwise the amazon keeps being ours and only ours as Buarque said.

  11. Lucas Passos

    Desculpem não ser em inglês, mas esse homem, tentou melhorar a educação no Brasil, têm grandes idéias, e espero, para o bem dos brasileiros e de todos que vivem em nosso planeta, ele consiga.

  12. Pingback: Una pregunta seguida por una respuesta que contrasta dos puntos de vista con la intención de provocar la reflexión. « Consejería Boricua

  13. This is Sept. 1. 2010 and C.B.s speech is as valid today as at that time many years ago. His recent essay on the May meeting of the BNDES was translated and published in the U.S. by BRAZZIL on-line magazine, and a reader added a commentary on the importance of the BNDES in finally having liberated Brazil from the need to beg for financing of its development projects. The propaganda to “internationalize” the Amazonia region is in high gear and possibly may read really hysteric proportions. But increasingly South Americans are aware of the NGOs as tools of U.S. and European geopolitical and economic interests – to “control” South America with a new colonialism based on “environmental protection” .

  14. maga

    GRACIAS ,CONTINUEN DIFUNDIENDO POR FAVOR

  15. Annita Pieroni

    Com todo respeito, editei a versão em inglês… se interessar, segue…

    Internationalization of the World – by Cristovam Buarque

    In October, 2000, Brazilian Senator Cristovam Buarque gave a lecture at New York University, after which he was questioned about the internationalization of the Amazon region. And his answer was:

    “During a recent discussion in the United States, someone asked my opinion on the internationalization of the Amazon Region. The youngster asserted that he expected a humanist´s point of view rather than a Brazilian´s one as an answer.

    This was the first time someone established the humanist viewpoint as the starting point for my answer. In fact, as a Brazilian I would have responded simply against the internationalization of the Amazon Region. Even if our governments have not given the attention that this treasure deserves, it is ours. I answered that, as a humanist, realizing the risk of environmental destruction that threatens the Amazon Region, I could imagine its internationalization just as for everything else which is relevant to humanity.

    If the Amazon Region, from a humanist΄s point of view, has to be internationalized, then we should internationalize the oil reserves of the entire world as well. Oil is just as important to humanity well being as the Amazon Region is for our future. Nevertheless, the owners of oil reserves feel it is in their right to increase or decrease oil production and to raise or lower the price. The rich of the world feel they have the right to burn this possession so vital to humanity. Similarly, the financial capital of the wealthy nations should be internationalized. If the Amazon Region is a natural reserve for every human being, then it could not be burned down by the decision of a landowner or a country. To burn down the Amazon Region is as tragic as the unemployment provoked by the arbitrary decisions of worldwide speculators. We cannot allow the world΄s financial reserves serve to burn down entire nations according to the whims of speculation.

    Before the internationalization of the Amazon Region happens, I would like to see the internationalization of all world΄s great museums. The Louvre should not belong to France only. Each museum in the world is a guardian for the most beautiful works produced by the human genius. We must not allow these cultural possessions as well as the natural possession of the Amazon Region be manipulated according to the whims of an owner or a country. Recently, a Japanese millionaire decided to have a grand master painting burried with him in the grave. This painting should have been internationalized.

    At the time of the meeting, in which this question came up, the United Nations convened the Forum of the Millennium and the presidents of several countries found hard to attend it due to the barriers they faced at the US border. Therefore, I contend that New York, as the base of the United Nations, should be internationalized. At least Manhattan should belong to all humanity. Similarly, Paris, Venice, Rome, London, Rio de Janeiro, Brazilia, Recife, every city with its own beauty, its own history should belong to the whole world.

    If the United States wants to internationalize the Amazon Region due to the risk of leaving it in Brazilian hands, then we should internationalize all the US nuclear stockpiles, particularly because they have already shown they are capable of using these weapons which might cause a destruction thousands of times greater than the sad fires taking place in the Brazilian forests.

    During their debates, the current US presidential candidates have defended the idea of internationalizing the world forest reserves in exchange for the debt. We could begin to use this debt to guarantee the right of every child in the world to attend school. We could internationalize the children by treating all of them, regardless of their birthplace, as a possession which deserves the care and attention of the entire world even more than the Amazon Region does. When the world leaders consider poor children worldwide as humanity´s possessions, they will no longer allow these children to work instead of studying or die instead of living.

    As a humanist I accept to defend the internationalization of the world, but as long as the world treats me as a Brazilian, I will fight to keep the Amazon Region as ours. Only ours.”

    Cristovam Buarque is a Professor at Brasilia University, Federal District State ex-governor and Brazilian Senator. Text as reported by Brazilian Newspaper O Globo on October 23, 2000.

  16. Mark

    Desculpem não ser inglês, mas vocês só estão falando isso porque são americanos!

  17. Ketya

    Sou brasileira e digo com respeito que os brasileiros nao estao cuidando do que foi dado; entao soh resta internacionaliza-la…quem sabe nos iremos seguir regras dai pra frente e respeitar a natureza.

    I am Brazilian and I am sorry to say that us, Brazilians, are not taking care of what was given; then whats left? internationalization… maybe we’ll start following rules and respect the nature.

  18. Good way of describing, and good article to obtain data regarding my presentation
    subject matter, which i am going to deliver in school.

  19. After I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Kudos!

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