Progressive agenda

Lula's ministers emphasize their priorities in inaugural speeches

They reaffirmed the importance of resuming public policies on minimum wage, human rights and acts against hunger

Translated by: Ana Paula Rocha e Flávia Chacon

Brasil de Fato | São Paulo (SP) |
Alckmin pledges to lead a reindustrialization process with sustainability - Reprodução/Youtube

Nine ministers appointed by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Workers’ Party. PT, in Portuguese) listed their priorities in this week’s speeches: Geraldo Alckmin (Development, Industry, Trade and Services), Marina Silva (Environment and Climate Change), Luiz Marinho (Labor and Employment), Paulo Teixeira (Agrarian Development and Family Farming), Silvio Almeida (Human Rights and Citizenship), Carlos Lupi (Welfare), Paulo Pimenta (Secretary of Social Communication of the Presidency of the Republic), Ana Moser (Sports) and Jader Filho (Cities). 

Development, Industry, Trade and Services

In a ceremony at the Planalto Palace, attended by President Lula himself, Geraldo Alckimin (Brazilian Socialist Party) was sworn into office as minister of Development, Industry, Trade and Services (MDIC, in Portuguese), a position he will hold at the same time as he is Brazil’s vice president. 

"Reindustrialization is crucial to resuming sustainable development from a social justice perspective,” said Alckmin, who mentioned Lula in his address. 

Despite talking about industrial expansion, Alckmin presented common views with one of Lula’s priorities in his third term, which is environmental preservation, and added that “sustainability is the backbone of the whole industrial policy.”

Environment and Climate Change

Fifteen years after leaving office, Marina Silva resumed on Wednesday (4) the command of the country's environmental area. At the ceremony held at the Planalto Palace, the environmentalist said that, from this year, it will be called the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, keeping the acronym MMA.

In a well-attended inauguration, Marina paid tribute to murdered environmentalists and reaffirmed her commitment to "zero deforestation" / Valter Campanato/Agência Brasil

The minister announced the creation of a new institution, the National Authority for Climate Security, under the ministry. A council will also be created to define policies for the sector, to be led by President Lula, with the participation of all ministries, civil society, as well as states and municipalities.

"Modern concepts such as climate justice and environmental racism will be part of the agenda and paradigms that will guide our policies," said Marina. "The most vulnerable [to climate change] will always be the black population, indigenous peoples, poor women heads of households and people living in at-risk situations," she said.

Labor and Employment

Head of the Ministry of Labor and Employment, Luiz Marinho (Workers’ Party) said that his challenge will be to make the labor agenda an “unprecedented protagonist” so that the issue is at the center of governmental decisions. He took office speaking of legislation that modernizes the trade union system and labor relations that were negotiated in a tripartite manner (government, workers and businessmen/businesswomen). He also said that the government would submit to Congress a new policy proposal that values the minimum wage. 

El presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva y el ministro del Trabajo, Luiz Marinho / Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

Marinho stressed the importance of employment in ending poverty and advocated for “intelligence, creativity and perseverance in seeking changes that accompany the current market. “The way to change is through improvement of the economic environment,” said the minister.

He guaranteed a ministry that complied with building social dialogue and collective negotiations, which include strong unions with representativeness and an autonomous ability to act. He also spoke of "speeding up" the implementation of Convention 151 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which deals with the right of public administration workers to unionize.

As a response to the "perverse heritage of precariousness," Marinho said, a labor, social, and welfare protection system that includes everyone is needed. The minister said, too, that there are sores that have to be extinguished once and for all, such as child labor and labor analogous to slavery. He promised to value the solidarity economy and reinforce the role of inspection.

Agrarian Development and Family Farming

This Tuesday (03), during the inauguration ceremony at Brasília, the Minister of Agrarian Development and Family Farming Paulo Teixeira (Workers’ Party) stated that the efforts of the ministry will be focused on eradicating hunger in the country. 

El Ministro Paulo Teixeira pretende trabajar de forma integrada con los movimientos sociales y los sindicatos / Reproducción / TV Brasil

“No country can’t see itself as a modern, civilized and developed one when 33 million Brazilians are living under intense food insecurity and another 100 million Brazilians face food insecurity," he said.

To combat it, the ministry will strengthen the programs to stimulate agriculture that were dismantled during the administration of former President Jair Bolsonaro, such as the Food Acquisition Program (PAA, in Portuguese), National School Food Program (PNAE, in Portuguese) and National Program for Strengthening Family Farming (Pronaf, in Portuguese). 

The newly appointed minister also said that the National Supply Company (Conab, in Portuguese) will be under the umbrella of the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Family Farming. Conab has a key role in food pricing since its stock regulates the offer of products on the market. Under the previous government, Conab’s minimum price guarantee policy had ended. 

Human Rights and Citizenship

In his first speech as Minister of Human Rights and Citizenship, Sílvio Almeida promised the ministry would reassess “every illegal act based on hate and prejudice” carried out by the Jair Bolsonaro (Liberal Party) government and the former minister senator-elect Damares Alves. 

Sílvio Almeida, nuevo ministro de Derechos Humanos / TVPT/YouTube/Reproducción

“That is a moment of celebration, happiness and also a moment in which the responsibility I take, due to President Lula’s trust in me, becomes more obvious and real,” he said. “We will not allow a ministry aimed at promoting human rights policies to continue to be used to propagate lies and prejudices. This era ends right now. It’s over.”

The newly appointed minister says he took on a “devastated” ministry, with a decrease in the participation of councils and discontinuity of public policies. He cited, for instance, the attempt by the Bolsonaro government, in his last month of mandate, to extinguish the Commission for Dead and Missing People during the Dictatorship. And he added that his arrival in office did not happen thanks only to his own struggle, but to "centuries of struggles and resistance of a people that did not resign."

“I carry the fight of Zumbi, Dandara, Luiz Gama, Abdias [Nascimento], Guerreiro Ramos, Lélia Gonzalez, Milston Santos, Marielle Franco and Pelé, who was himself a Brazilian minister, among many others who allowed me to be here today, a Black man, minister of State contributing to a fight that was theirs in the past,” he concluded.  


National leader of the Labor Democratic Party (PDT, in Portuguese) Carlos Lupi was sworn into office as Minister of Welfare this Tuesday (3), in Brasília. In his speech, he spoke about the ministry’s priorities and, particularly, the revision of the welfare reform. 

"Tenemos que hacernos cargo de los retrasos, de las faltas de respeto, de la acintegración a la ciudadanía que se ha hecho con esta antirreforma de la Seguridad Social", criticó Lupi / Foto: PDT

“We need to focus on the delays, disrespect and insults to citizenship that were done with this welfare anti-reform. We have to be brave to face it… This reform was carried out to suppress rights. We are a society that needs to understand that the majority deserve to be protected, not the minority,” he protested. 

Secretary of Social Communication of the Presidency of the Republic

Ensuring freedom of the press and transparency in the release of government information, federal deputy Paulo Pimenta (Workers’ Party – Rio Grande do Sul state) took office as Minister of the Secretary of Social Communication of the Presidency of the Republic this Tuesday afternoon (3). 

"Combatir la mentira no es una tarea sencilla en la sociedad moderna y en cómo está organizada. Será un tema central", aseguró Pimenta / Foto: Divulgación/TV Brasil

“In recent years, walls, barriers and enclosures have been erected. Few spoke much, not always with quality in what they said. That time is over,” says Pimenta.

Among government priorities is tackling disinformation, which Bolsonaro and his supporters are known for. Our fight against fake news will never end. High-quality information is crucial to society. We live in a historic moment. This election was significant for our lives. We can’t make a mistake in coping with such a challenge and responsibility.”


The Ministry of Sports is headed by Ana Moser. Former volleyball player, she assumes the executive branch with the mission of mainstreaming sports policies, integrating them with education, health and social assistance through dialogue between government agencies.

"Es necesario invertir la lógica que siempre ha dado prioridad al deporte de rendimiento", dijo Ana Moser / Reproducción

"To guarantee everyone's right to sports, to make a revolution in sports," she declared. According to the minister, this project is a request from Lula.


Ended by former president Jair Bolsonaro, the Ministry of Cities will be headed by Jader Filho (Brazilian Democratic Movement). The minister criticized the situation in which the current government found social programs.

Jader Filho crea una secretaría para el diálogo con los movimientos sociales / Foto: José Cruz/Agência Brasil

One of the main ways of ending this national scourge is the urgent resumption of the My House My Life program. Previous data attest to the importance of this initiative. More than numbers, there are people and families. We can’t sleep peacefully while millions of Brazilians are on the streets, homeless,” said Filho.

Edited by: Thales Schmidt e Flávia Chacon