In the past seven years, "31 million Brazilians have joined the middle class and 20 million have been lifted out of absolute poverty," said Brazil's Minister of Foreign Relations Celso Amorim, accepting the award on the president's behalf.
Reading a statement prepared by Lula da Silva, the foreign minister said, "I would like to stress that the best policy for development is the fight against poverty. It is also one of the best recipes for peace. And we found out last year that it is also a powerful shield against crisis."
"This lesson learned by Brazil is applicable to any part of the world, be it rich or poor," he said.
"We have to govern with creativity and justice. And we have to do this now, before it is too late," he said.