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Speakers first Session from left: Mr. Anderson Silva, dancer and choreograph, playing the Berimbau; Ms. Luciana Maria Santos de Souza, Director, Instituto Rio Itariri; H.E. Nelson Antonio Tabajara de Oliveira, Brazilian Ambassador to Austria; Ms. Benedita da Silva, Member of Parliament, Brazil, former governor of Rio de Janeiro; Ms. Queila Rosa, President, ABRASA CASA DO BRASIL AUSTRIA; Mr. Peter Haider, President, Universal Peace Federation Austria; Ms. Elaine Antunes de Jesus, Rioca Hotel Vienna; Ms. Maria Tereza Umbelino, CEO & Founder of Brasil Mata Viva
The conference hall with the audience
Speakers second Session from left: Mr. Jacques Marion, France, Co-Chair of the Universal Peace Federation in Europe and Middle East; Ms. Benedita da Silva, Member of Parliament, Brazil, former governor of Rio de Janeiro; Mr. Peter Haider, President, Universal Peace Federation Austria; Ms. Queila Rosa, President, ABRASA CASA DO BRASIL AUSTRIA; Ms. Jacqueline Xin Plank-Zhao, Larkalis Organization, China; Mr. Luis Malheiros Larkalis, CEO of Larkalis Organization, Vienna; Prof. Dr. Elmar Kuhn, President, Coalition of FBOs in Central Europe
Speakers third Session from left: Mr. Rogerio Luis Hauschild, Managing Director of Larkalis Organization, Vienna; Mr. Arnold Prentl, Business consultant and Industrial engineer; Mr. Peter Haider, President, Universal Peace Federation Austria; Mr. Fernando Fritz, Chief Operating Officer at Invest Sao Paulo Europe; Dr. Michael Balcomb, Senior Advisor of the Universal Peace Federation in Europe and Middle East

Vienna, Austria – UPF-Austria, in cooperation with the Brazilian Embassy in Vienna and several other partners, organized a conference on “Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity, Shared Values – Europe-Brazil Dialogue” on November 8, 2023. The conference was held at the Vienna International Center (UN-Vienna), in connection with a two-day event by the International Business Network that focused on cooperation between Brazil and European countries.

Participating organizations included Brazglobal, Abrasa–Casa do Brasil Austria, the UN Correspondents Association Vienna, the Coalition of Faith-based Organizations, and the Women’s Federation for World Peace.

The morning session addressed the question, “How Can Technology Help with Women’s Economic Empowerment on Both Sides of the Atlantic?" Speakers discussed training and mentoring programs for women and the development of technological solutions that promote inclusion and diversity.

H.E. Nelson Antonio Tabajara de Oliveira, the Brazilian Ambassador to Austria, welcomed the conference as an opportunity to exchange ideas on a shared future in which women’s empowerment, technological innovation, and sustainable development all move forward. He also stressed the need to fulfill the UN 2030 Agenda, to advance renewable energy and green hydrogen technologies, and to forge new partnerships that honor interdependence and shared values.

Ms. Queila Rosa, president of Abrasa–Casa do Brasil Austria, has worked for 20 years to strengthen relationships between Brazil and Austria, especially through culture. “Culture is important for sustainable tourism and social and economic development,” she said. “We should not only care about economic needs, but also respect the social needs of people.”

Honorable Benedita da Silva, member of the Brazilian Parliament and former governor of Rio de Janeiro, stressed the leadership role of women as educators, entrepreneurs, artists, producers, businesswomen and family carers; all these roles are important for the future of young people. She expressed concern that women should be protected from violence and femicide, and that children who are victims of violence should be supported.

Ms. Elaine Antunes de Jesus was trained in Brazil as a teacher of classical Greek, literature and writing, as well as event management. She now works at the Rioca Hotel Vienna as a project designer and creator. The hotel aims to offer the Brazilian, especially Rio, experience to international guests. Ms. de Jesus said that businesses should seek to improve the quality of life for all involved. Technology, she said, can be a vehicle to help people exchange impressions, affection and empathy, and to bring visibility to women’s  actions.

Ms. Maria Tereza Umbelino, CEO and founder of Brasil Mata Viva Global, introduced her project involving a group of 300 farming families and scientists who were exploring new methods of sustainable farming and protecting biodiversity. They are dedicated to preserving the environment while producing food.  

Ms. Luciana Maria Santos de Souza is director of the Instituto Rio Itariri, which cares for abandoned or abused wild animals. She explained its efforts to protect over 30 species, including reptiles, mammals and birds.

The first afternoon session was on “The 2030 Agenda and Brazil's Insertion in Industrial Development in the Context of the SDGs.”

The first speaker, Mr. Luis Malheiros Larkalis, CEO of Larkalis Organization in Vienna, gave the keynote address. He stated “The world is changing, and so we must change as well. Climate change is not a distant threat; it is a present reality, affecting nations, ecosystems, and every step of daily human life…In this context, de-carbonization becomes not just a necessity but a question of sustainability and maintenance of our way of life. Climate change knows no borders, and solutions must be as interconnected as the challenges we face. Brazil's insertion into the global industrial scene is an opportunity for collaboration, know-how exchange, and shared responsibility.”

Prof. Dr. Elmar Kuhn, president of the Coalition of FBOs in Central Europe, declared in his address: “I will address our humanity, because it has a lot to do with development, our technical environment, our crisis and the future. The cultural and religious facts are so important to the future of what we call the narrative of our world…We need to dare and name as prerequisites for success religious and cultural diversity, the participation of all political parties of our society and comprehensive educational opportunities for everybody, so that nobody is excluded.” The three principles for common development in finance, economics and politics, he said, are “the principles of justice, solidarity, and subsidiarity.”

Mr. Paulo Guimarães, special advisor to the governor of Bahia in Brazil, sent a video message, stating: “We have spoken about solutions to climate change as if we had found a silver bullet to solve all our problems. I believe that de-carbonisation and pure hydrogen will not solve our problems. What we need to do is to get rid of the CO2 emissions and move to renewable sources of energy.”

The session was concluded by Mr. Jacques Marion, co-chair of UPF-Europe. He focused on UPF’s vision for the United Nations. “There are many problems burdening the UN, but most fundamental is the predominance of national self-interest over the purpose of the whole of the institution.” He explained the proposal by UPF founders Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon that an Inter-religious Council be introduced alongside the Security Council as a body that would discuss and evaluate the religious, spiritual, and moral dimensions of world problems. He concluded, ”I think and hope that what Europe can learn, or re-learn, from interaction with countries such as Brazil, is that the heart of love and spiritual values are key to successful economic, political and human development.”

The second afternoon session was on “Climate Change, Decarbonization and Strengthening Action towards Renewable Energy and Green Hydrogen Technology.”

Mr. Fernando Fritz is COO of Invest Sao Paulo Europe, located in Munich, Germany. He sees many opportunities in cooperation on a “green transition” between Brazil and the three countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He highlighted long-standing partnerships with 200 Austrian, 800 Swiss and 1600 German companies operating in Brazil, around half of which are based in the state of Sao Paulo. Serving as a business hub for Latin America, Sao Paulo is a world leader in the production of sugar, ethanol, and orange juice. Embraer, an aerospace corporation and airplane manufacturer for over 50 years, is also based there. His presentation included a video of Sao Paulo metropolis, the world’s fourth largest city, as well as the state, and investor friendly business opportunities.

Mr. Rogerio Luis Hauschild, managing director of Larkalis Organization in Vienna, has been working with renewable energy projects and finding ways of financing them. Brazil has a wonderful energy matrix, he explained. Over 50% comes from hydropower, while solar and wind energy are becoming increasingly popular. Gas stations in Brazil offer both fossil and ethanol fuel. Brazilian cities are clean, he said, but organic and human waste management present a problem, and financing projects with Brazilian funds is difficult. A more inexpensive and efficient waste management technology from Europe would greatly assist Brazil, he said.

Mr. Arnold Prentl is an Austrian business consultant and industrial engineer. He focused on the challenges faced by industrial economies of the “global North.” He introduced the Bridge Building Business model, an attempt to unite sustainable management and value-oriented business activity, through cooperative effort and responsible innovation. Based on the principle of "one world, one humanity," he said that humanity must cope with existing resources, securing common interests through collaborative and peaceful interactions between nations.

Dr. Michael Balcomb, senior advisor of UPF-Europe, stressed the internal, human dimension of current world issues. A shared goal like implementing renewable energy faces headwinds for two reasons, he said. The first is the profit motive; the second is political, with China dominating the solar cell industry. Hence, he emphasized the need to look beyond scientific and technological developments for solutions. He quoted the second UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, stating that there is no hope for the UN unless there is a spiritual revolution or reformation. He also alluded to Martin Luther King’s statement on technical capacity having outgrown spiritual capability, quoting: “We have guided missiles and we have misguided men.” Referring to comments by UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon during a speaking tour in Sao Paulo, he mentioned her emphasis on the importance of spiritual, internal and human values for the young generation: Fairness, equality, dignity, compassion, and love are values that make life worth living. And fortune comes to the nation that serves and invests in other nations.

Dr. Balcomb concluded, “This sounds idealistic, but is there another way to avoid the bad news of wars, and to have hope?”

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