Biden, Brazil’s Lula to Launch Initiative Focused on Workers’ Rights

(Reuters) —
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva addresses the 78th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sept. 19. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

U.S. President Joe Biden and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will launch an initiative on Wednesday to advance the rights of working people, a main focal point for both leaders, senior U.S. officials said.

The U.S.-Brazil Partnership for Workers’ Rights will be bilateral to start with, but other countries and organizations will be encouraged to join, senior Biden administration officials said, without naming other possible participants.

Biden and Lula will make an announcement when they have their second in-person meeting on Wednesday while in New York for the annual high-level United Nations General Assembly.

When Lula visited Biden at the White House in February, both leaders focused heavily on the climate crisis and pledged to accelerate measures to protect the Amazon, as well as the need to fight for and advance democratic values.

“This partnership for workers’ rights is another area where there’s a clear affinity and complement between the United States and Brazil, but also between our two Presidents,” one of the officials said, adding that both Biden and Lula shared “a common vision for equitable, inclusive economic growth” and a deep commitment to workers’ rights.

Both leaders plan to raise the issues with the Group of 20 major economies, which Brazil will head in 2024, and global climate events, they said.

One of the officials said U.S. officials had been very clear about Washington’s concerns over human rights violations in China, its economic practices and military expansion, and would engage in conversations about those issues with Brazil. But the official added that it was Brazil’s sovereign right to engage in relationships with China and other countries.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss a mounting humanitarian crisis in Haiti, and Kenya’s offer to lead a multinational presence to support security improvements, one of the officials added.

Brazil could play an important role in engaging China and other U.N. Security Council members about the importance of participating in Haiti, the official added.

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