UNGA 2020: Bolsonaro calls Brazil victim of 'brutal disinformation' on Amazon

WION Web Team
United Nations, United States Published: Sep 22, 2020, 08.01 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Recent data shows fires raging in Brazil's Amazon rainforest and Pantanal wetlands with historic force.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro opened the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday and downplayed the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, claiming Brazil was the target of a "brutal" and "shady" international campaign to discredit it.

During a video address to the annual assembly in New York, Bolsonaro said "We are victims of a most brutal disinformation campaign about the Amazon and the Brazilian wetlands. The Brazilian Amazon is known to be immensely rich. That explains the support given by international institutions to this campaign anchored on shady interests.''

Also see: Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro and his 'non-normal' antics

Recent data shows fires raging in Brazil's Amazon rainforest and Pantanal wetlands with historic force.

Amazon deforestation has surged 34.5 pewr cent in the 12 months through July, compared to the same period a year ago, according to data from government space research agency Inpe.

And, in the world's largest wetland, the Pantanal, a record 23,490 square kilometers have burned through Septewmber 6, nearly 16 per cent of the Brazilian Pantanal, according to a Federal University of Rio de Janeiro analysis.

Also read: As fires burn, Bolsonaro says Brazil should be congratulated for its 'environment work'

Despite this, Bolsonaro had said that Brazil "should be congratulated for the way it preserves its environment".

Despite this year's United Nations General Assembly General Debate being a mostly virtual event, there was a heavy presence of New York City Police officers in front of the UN building.

The annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations, started on Tuesday with no presidents or prime ministers physically present in New York, because of the world-wide coronavirus pandemic. All statements have been pre-recorded and will be broadcast in the General Assembly hall.

The United Nations was created when countries came together after World War II to prevent conflict.

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