Mexican president calls on world’s richest people, companies to fund $1T program to fight poverty
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Tuesday called on the world’s wealthiest people and corporations to give 4 percent of their wealth to a fund to fight global poverty.
The $1 trillion fund would address “marginalization and misery” in order to “ensure the right to a decent life for 750 million people who survive on less than two dollars a day,” Obrador told the United Nations General Assembly, per remarks posted by his administration.
“Never in the history of this organization has anything really substantial been done to benefit the poor, but it is never too late to do justice. We must act today against marginalization, addressing the causes and not just the consequences,” the Mexican president said.
Obrador specifically called upon the world’s 1,000 richest people and 1,000 wealthiest private corporations to act. He also urged the Group of 20 nations, including Mexico, to give 0.2 percent of their gross domestic product to benefit some of the poorest global communities.
During his address, Obrador called Covax, the international efforts for equity in vaccine distribution, “a painful and resounding failure.”
His speech at the U.N. in New York on Tuesday marked only the second time that the Mexican president, who tends to focus on domestic issues, travelled internationally since taking office in 2018, according to The Washington Post.
During his time in office, Obrador has made multiple efforts to address poverty issues at home. Mexico’s minimum wage has increased dramatically during his tenure as president, though some experts and opponents have criticized his work surrounding Mexico’s social welfare programs, the Post reported.
The newspaper also noted that Obrador has a tendency to use populist language to attack wealthy people in his country, but poor communities in Mexico have praised his work on initiatives like grants for students and pensions for older people.