The president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has already been invited to the next assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC), which will take place in February 2006 in Porto Alegre. The WCC general secretary, Konrad Raiser, extended the invitation during a meeting in Brasilia on May 12.
“I should still be head of the government at that time; I hope I shall still be worthy of the invitation,” said the Brazilian president, mindful of the fact that politics is a slippery area where critical support offered today may prove to be an embarrassment in the future.
For the time being, Mr. Lula seems certain to be a welcome guest at the assembly. At the meeting with Mr. Raiser, he announced that at the next G-8 meeting in Evian, France, he will propose that half the money spent servicing the foreign debt of poor countries, and one per cent of expenditure on arms be allocated to a fund to eradicate hunger in the world.