Posted on September 29, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales spoke at the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, and delivered what arguably was one of the most powerful addresses at that global institution since its creation in 1945. Because he spoke the truth.
“Thank you very much. Honorable President of the General Assembly to the United Nations. Brothers and sisters. Listeners around the world”.
“Mother Earth and humanity are suffering, stricken by the environmental, climate, financial, food crisis generated by a predatory humanity, capitalism, that turns human life and Mother Earth into merchandise. Today we have a historic opportunity to build a new, different world, and we must do so without delay. The post-2015 agenda must express that mandate which Mother Earth and humanity call us for”.
“We salute the proposal of the open-ended working group of the United Nations on the sustainable development goals, which incorporates the proposal of Bolivia and the peoples on the world on respect for Mother Earth and harmony with nature. This is not a simple political statement. It is a shared commitment with the entire world to change our visions of development for a more comprehensive, holistic vision. We propose to the world living well, in harmony with Mother Earth and the construction of a culture of life, complementarity, solidarity, and peace”.
“We have lost our respect for Mother Earth. Today, she is being merchandised and manipulated, causing great danger to life. Now, as at no other time, the premise that man believes himself to be the lord and master of nature is more true than ever. People, encouraged by capitalism, have turned everything into a market, including genetic manipulation and the destruction of human beings. Human and natural life and their happiness should be the very reason why any vision, tool, or focus for development exist. No vision of development makes sense if it does not respect or strengthen life”.
“Economic growth on its own does not lead to the realization of social rights and living well. The horizon of equality calls for the distribution of wealth, economic and political empowerment of the poor, the excluded, and the marginalized. It calls for strengthening communities and building societies with solidarity, not exclusive societies based on the accumulation of wealth or governed by the need to make money, avarice, and the grasping nature of the market. Together with the Group of 77 and China, I must state the fundamental importance of recovering our countries and our people’s sovereignty over our natural resources”.
“It is only through the recovery of control of natural resources that we will be able to garner greater benefits for our peoples, in particular to eliminate poverty, to invest in economic diversification, industrialization, and social programs. Each country has the right to decide on its priorities and strategies for development, but it is important for these strategies to strengthen the environmental functions and the ecosystems of Mother Earth in the framework of complementarity and mutual support between productive systems, communities, and nature. It is vital to strike a balance between the rights of Mother Earth, the right to development, the rights of indigenous peoples, and social, economic, and cultural rights – as well as the right of the poor to emerge from poverty”.
“Complementarity and mutual support are instruments to conserve Mother Earth, not commercial incentives, and on this point we differ from the followers of the so-called Green Economy. An important issue to be promoted in the framework of the post-2015 agenda is the human right to water, and the right of Mother Earth to enjoy the use of water to regenerate and reproduce life. Three billion people today live in areas or regions where the need for water, the demand for water, exceeds the available water, and this reality will worsen as years pass”.
“By 2030, the demand for water will have increased by 30%. In 2050 four billion people will suffer from critical scarcity of water in the context of climate change”.
“Brothers and sisters, In Bolivia, in accordance with human rights, to water, and our constitution, and thanks to the national program entitled ‘My Water’, we have already reached the Millennium Development Goals, and we did so some three years before schedule. Declaring the human right to water means that it cannot be privatized. Water is life. It cannot be the subject of profit or commerce. In the same way, to resolve major social inequalities basic services such as water, electricity, telecommunications, and basic sanitation, as well as education and health, must be human rights. We have pending work to eradicate poverty and hunger, but in order to do this we must also fight the pitiless, inhuman forces of capital and the market”.
“The omnipresent power of banks and usurers who profit from consumerism and hunger, the so-called ‘Vulture Funds’, are an expression of this. They are agents of financial exploitation who live off speculation, stealing from developing countries with impunity, taking the bread off the tables of the poor, extorting, and using the help of the legal systems of capitalism to profit. This is a cause of the financial crisis and they profited from it. We must profoundly change the exclusionary structures of financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank”.
“This measure should be part of the transformation of the world financial architecture. These organizations cannot be governed only by developed countries, which through clever financial strategies blackmail and oppress developing countries, especially the poorest. This is what we call eradicating financial colonialism in the world. There continues to be an offensive, abusive reality; the fact that out of 1.3 billion poor people over 800 million people are chronically malnourished, and also the gaps between the rich and the poor. This is due to an unequal distribution of income, but also to an unequal discriminatory access to wealth, to the means and factors to live well and basic services”.
“The increase of hungry people in the world is due without any doubt to the crisis. If there had not been a financial crisis, there would be 413 million less hungry people in the world today. It is unthinkable to eradicate hunger and poverty without changing the international financial architecture”.
“The violence of war feeds the darkest interests such as geopolitical control of the great powers and corporations, which promote conflicts in order to ensure their imperial or neocolonial interests. The economic interests of capital today promote neocolonial wars. With the cost of war spent elsewhere, humanity could overcome many of the problems facing it today such as Ebola, tuberculosis, and other diseases. We have been witness once again to the cruelty and barbarism of the genocidal actions of the government of Israel against the Palestinian civilian population. This is why we have denounced Israel for violating international humanitarian law and universal human rights”.
“We demand an investigation of the crimes committed by Israel on the Gaza Strip. The pluri-national state of Bolivia, like other Latin American countries, share a deep need that it is necessary to reiterate: the effectiveness of the United Nations resolutions calling for the end of the occupation of Palestinian territories and the building of an independent Palestinian state with the borders that existed on June 4, 1967. For this reason, we reiterate once again, the need to recognize Palestine as a full member of the United Nations”.
“As President of the G-77 and China I cannot fail to mention the important commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Group of 77. This was celebrated on June 14 and 15 of this year in Bolivia. The summit of states and heads of governments of the G-77 and China adopted a declaration entitled ‘For a New World Order To Live Well’. This ratifies the principles of unity, complementarity, and solidarity, as well as the building of a new world order which would establish a fairer, more democratic system to benefit our peoples. We hail the Bolivian alliance for the peoples of our America, and the free trade treaty of peoples”.
“Having completed 10 years of tireless work for integration of people which goes beyond the commercial benefits or trade benefits, and concentrates its efforts on promoting the values of cooperation, solidarity, and complementarity”.
“Since March of 2011, 150,000 people have died in Syria. Three million people fled as refugees to neighboring countries. Bolivia shares a belief that the future and destiny of Syria must be determined by the Syrian people itself, in full exercise of its democracy in accordance with the charter of the United Nations. Bolivia condemns and rejects the interference of the United States in Iraq, which has triggered the current crisis in Iraq. The war begun in 2003 against Iraq destabilized the entire region. It was said that Iraq had large quantities of weapons of mass destruction. This argument ended up being one of the biggest lies in the history of imperialism”.
“Based on this lie, peaceful co-existence between social, ethnic, and religious groups has been destroyed. This situation has led to a terrorist group called the Islamic State to put Iraq in a new war situation threatening the entire region. Bolivia rejects the extreme violence which this terrorist group has been enacting against civil society. We affirm with full conviction that nothing justifies fratricidal violence. The invasion of Iraq with other historical events have taught us a lesson: that wherever the United States of America intervenes, it leaves destruction, hate, misery, and death in its trail”.
“But it also leaves wealth in the hands of those who profit from wars – the transnationals of the arms industry and the oil industry. With a culture of peace, we must eradicate the extremist fanaticism and also the imperial war-mongering which the United States promotes. Faced with war, they threaten more war. The United Nations organization was created to build and promote peace, not to justify invasions and wars. To make war against war is not peace. This is a perverse formula; a formula for death and endless confrontation. We must solve the structural causes of war: marginalization, poverty, the lack of opportunity, cultural, political, and social exclusion, discrimination, inequality, the usurpation and despoilment of territory, pitiless capitalism, and the dictatorship of the interests of transnational corporations”.
“Every year we hear from President Barack Obama here discourse of war, of arrogance, and threats to the peoples of the world. This too is a discourse of extremist fanaticism”.
“The economic, commercial, and financial blockade of the government of the United States against Cuba is a main tool, the main policy tool of the United States. The blockade against Cuba is a system of the most unfair, severe, and prolonged unilateral sanctions that has ever been applied. This blockade is genocide; it must come to an end immediately”.
“We want to express to this assembly the historic right of the Bolivian people on access to the sea. This right was trampled by a brutal invasion promoted by colonial business interests. Colonial imposition, the lack of truly participatory democracy, in the interests of foreign companies were interposed between the peoples of Bolivia and Chile. These kindred peoples were led to war in order to allow transnational companies to make profit. For this reason, with the conviction of a country which believes in peace and promotes it, convinced of the harmony of our relations with all our neighbors, we turn to the International Court of Justice in search of dialogue in order to achieve a peaceful solution in good faith to the prolonged dispute on our sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean”.
“Our case is not an attempt to change the international order of borders and frontiers, and it is not a threat to international treaties as the government of Chile would have some believe. Quite the contrary. Bolivia calls on international law and its principles to resolve in a concerted fashion and in good faith its sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean. We will do well for our peoples, for our new generations, for the region, and for the world, if we achieve an effective peaceful solution for the sovereign access of Bolivia to the sea. For this reason I call on all countries of the United Nations system at the 69th Assembly to support not only Bolivia but also our neighbor Chile in this challenge for peace, justice, and law”.
“Brothers and sisters, We must eradicate violence and war. We must denounce the imperialist war-mongering of world powers who arrogantly believe that they incarnate the ideals of liberty. Those imperial powers, using their media to manipulate the wills and emotions of people, they lie and deceive with impunity. They divide and confront nations and communities against each other to promote wars, to control strategic resources, and put them at the service of their transnational capital. This is the century of peace – peace with sovereignty – with freedom of peoples and not with a free market. This is a century of the agreements for liberty, for life and peace, and not agreements for free trade in life”.
“There will be no harmony if the arrogance of empires and their renewed colonialism harass, suppress, and kill human beings, cultures, and the peoples of the world”.
“Brothers and sisters, The empire of finance, the empire of markets, the empire of the arms industry, must all fall to give way to the wisdom of life, and life in peace and harmony”.
“Just to summarize, with the greatest respect for all of you, I would like to say that if you want to put an end to poverty, if you want to defend life and the Mother Earth – our only path is to put an end to the capitalist system and imperialist thinking – for the well-being of humanity”.
“Thank you very much”.