- The Washington Times - Monday, January 27, 2003

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) Brazil's new leftist president appeared to applause and cheers yesterday before the elite economic conference he once scorned, and called for a massive drive to defeat poverty and hunger around the globe.
"My greatest desire is that the hope that has overcome fear in my country will also help vanquish it around the world," Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told hundreds of delegates at the World Economic Forum, an annual meeting of corporate and political leaders.
"I would like to invite all of you that are here, on this 'Magic Mountain' of Davos, to look at the world with other eyes," he said, in a reference to the classic novel by Thomas Mann set in Davos.
He called for Western governments and big investors to create a global fund to fight poverty and hunger around the world.
"Countries are spending billions and billions of dollars in an arms race and spending money on things that are not priorities," Mr. Lula da Silva said. "We look at the Third World countries, and millions and millions of women and children die because they don't manage to eat the calories they need."
Mr. Lula da Silva said he was bringing with him the same message that he gave Friday to the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, billed as a grass-roots counterpoint to the Davos event.
Joking with the crowd after his address, the charismatic former revolutionary said "the most fantastic thing" was that he was going back to Porto Alegre in one piece.
"My comrades will notice that you haven't taken a bite out of me," he said. "Nor have I taken a bite out of you. I think there is room for us to get together to talk."
The son of a poor farmer, Mr. Lula da Silva dropped out of school to help support his family and became a symbol of hope for Latin America's impoverished millions after his landslide election in October.

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