Mexico’s Lopez Obrador addresses UN, proposes global anti-poverty mechanism

United Nations, Nov 9 (EFE).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday addressed the United Nations Security Council to propose the creation of a global mechanism to end the poverty that afflicts 750 million people who live on less than $2 per day.

The mechanism, which will be presented in detail by Mexico before the UN General Assembly in the coming days, would be financed with a fund that would receive money from three sources: a “voluntary” annual contribution of 4 percent of the planet’s 1,000 richest individuals’ fortunes, a similar percentage from the world’s 1,000 biggest firms and 0.2 percent of the GDP of each one of the wealthy countries grouped in the G20.

The name of the proposed mechanism would be the World Program for Brotherhood and Wellbeing, and if the means of funding are agreed to, the Mexican leader said his calculations are that it would collect “a trillion dollars.”

According to Lopez Obrador, money from this fund will be distributed directly and without any middlemen to the beneficiaries with the aim of avoiding bureaucracy, via the presentation of an ad hoc “card or electronic purse” by prospective beneficiaries, and he suggested that the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund could be the entities that would be tasked with creating this “census of the world’s poorest.”

The immediate destination of those funds, he said, would be to provide payments to the elderly and to children with disabilities, scholarships for study, support programs for professional learning and the distribution of free vaccines and medications.

“I don’t think that the permanent members of the Security Council (who have veto rights on Council resolutions) will be opposed, since we’re not talking about nuclear weapons or putting world security at risk,” Lopez Obrador said.

EFE fjo/laa/bp

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