The First Speech
On the occasion of the transfer of the presidency of the G77 plus China to Bolivia - January 8, 2014
Preface by Charles McKelvey
The Group of 77 plus China is a coalition within the United Nations of countries of the South. It was established in 1964 by 77 nations, and by 2013 it had 133 member nations. The group promotes the common economic interests of Third World nations, and it seeks to develop South-South cooperation. The chairmanship is held for one year, rotating by region. Bolivia holds the chairmanship for 2014.
Evo Morales is one of the three most important charismatic leaders that have emerged in Latin America during the past fifteen years, along with Hugo Chávez and Rafael Correa. They have played a major role in the forging of a new political reality in Latin America, challenging the structures of the neocolonial world-system. Morales was an indigenous coca farmer, born and raised in a poor town in the Bolivian high plains. He emerged as a leader in the coca farmers’ union and became an important national political figure during the peasant mobilizations in Bolivia from 1990 to 2005. He formed an alternative political party, the Movement toward Socialism, and he was elected President of Bolivia, assuming office on January 22, 2006. In accordance with his campaign pledge, his government convoked a Constitutional Assembly, formed by 255 delegates elected from all regions, ethnic groups, and classes. The new Constitution was approved by popular referendum with 61.4% of the popular vote on January 25, 2009. In addition, his government: has inaugurated a literacy program; has reduced the salaries of high-level government officials, bringing them more in harmony with average salaries in the nation; has renegotiated contracts with international companies dedicated to the exploitation of hydrocarbons, establishing terms far more favorable to Bolivia; has developed a land-reform program; and has been an active participant in the process of Latin American union and integration.
In this address to the G-77 plus China, Evo Morales maintains that the capitalist world-economy is confronting a crisis that is a financial, energy, climactic, food, and institutional crisis. He alleges that the capitalist world-economy has converted Mother Earth into an object of its predatory dominion, and he formulates a concept of integral development in equilibrium with Mother Earth. In response to the deep and multifaceted crisis of capitalism, he calls for the building of a new world financial economic architecture, and he advocates the building of solidarity and mutual support among the countries of the South. He demands the elimination of the heritage of colonialism in all of its forms, including economic colonialism as well as forms of thinking that devalue the knowledge of indigenous peoples. He advocates a change from representative democracy, which serves the interests of the elite, to participatory and community democracy, involving active and sustained participation by the people in the decision-making process. He affirms food, water, electricity, education and health as universal human rights. He opposes the commercialization of knowledge, science, and technology, considering them to be the heritage of all humanity, which should be equally available to all. He affirms the rights of all nations and peoples to sovereignty over their natural resources. Discourse of his Excellency, Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, on the occasion of the transfer of the presidency of the G77 plus China to Bolivia for the year 2014 (New York, January 8, 2014).Translated from the original Spanish by Charles McKelvey.
It is with enormous satisfaction and with much happiness that we now declare open the second part of this ceremony.
Brother Ban Ki-Moon, General Secretary of the United Nations; brother President of the United Nations Assembly; and to all the sisters and brothers ambassadors to the G77+China: for the Bolivian people, January 8, 2014 is an historic day, unprecedented for your trust in us to preside over and coordinate the G77+China during this year, its fiftieth anniversary. In truth, it is for me an enormous satisfaction to work with all of you in Bolivia, all of us seeking the dignity and the unity of our peoples, especially with respect to a task so important: the reduction or the elimination of poverty.
As elected and designated authorities in our states, by our peoples, and also in international organisms, we have the responsibility to seek true equality among our peoples, being especially concerned for those who have been the most ignored in the history of our countries.
I come here with a brief platform in order to share principles, values and programs for the good of all humanity and for the universal sisterhood of our peoples in harmony with our Mother Earth.
We have seen and we are convinced that the capitalist system confronts the most profound crisis, which is simultaneously a financial, energy, climactic, food, and institutional crisis and also a lifestyle crisis. The world suffers the effects of the debacle provoked by a capitalism that has converted Mother Earth and persons into objects of its savage, predatory dominion.
We live in a financial crisis as a result of the fact that the countries of the capitalist center concentrate wealth in exclusive elites and magnify poverty and hunger.
We live in an energy crisis marked by excessive and contaminating consumption and by the stockpiling of the sources of energy by the transnational corporations in order to satisfy the demand of the standard of life and the high consumption of the capitalist countries of the North.
We live in a climactic crisis that conforms to a model of development whose levels of consumption and industrialization have generated an excess emission of contaminating gases that have provoked global warming and natural disasters that affect the entire world, but particularly the peoples of the South.
We live in a food crisis that is caused by: desertification and the degradation of food producing areas; disequilibrium between country and city; monopoly of the commercialization of seeds and agricultural supplies; speculation in the price of foods; consumerism; and the waste of foods.
In the year 2008, 15.5% of the world population suffered from hunger, more than 850 million malnourished, of which 788 million were in Asia and Africa. For the year 2011, the number of malnourished persons ascended to nearly one billion.
In short, we live in a crisis of an economic model, in which the recipes of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the multinational organisms (privatizations and the reduction of social policies) are no longer able to resolve the problems of the capitalist center.
However, times of crisis are also times of opportunities, times for the transformation of thought and of ideas in order to construct a different world. These necessary changes call for us to listen to the voice of the conscience of the peoples and their critical spirit toward the impositions of imperialism and colonialism.
These also are the times of the countries of the South and the so-called emerging countries. We all have the responsibility to build together solidarity, complementarity, and mutual support.
In order to make these changes a reality, states ought to direct the economy and governments should: adopt policies of providing services to the people; socialize wealth and eradicate poverty; and conceive of development in an integral manner that provides basic services to all, implements collective rights, and expands democracy beyond the sphere of political institutions.
The South has a growing economy, significant wealth in natural resources, knowledge and technology, skills and abilities, cultures, and a great diversity of nations and peoples. In this context, the G77+China is one of the principle actors of change in this historic moment.
We propose to adopt as a foundation the Conclusions of the World Conference of the Peoples over the Rights of Mother Earth and Climate Change, held in Tiquipaya, Bolivia in 2010.
We need to eliminate the colonial heritage in our countries, through which our cultural identities, our knowledge, our foods and medicines, and our practices and technologies have been denied. For example, we do not understand how the groups of power in the world have criminalized the production and consumption of the sacred coca leaf, which has been a food and medicine of our peoples for millennia.
As evidence of the impediments imposed by such capitalist prejudices, we mention with pride that the quinua, dismissed by imperialism as “Indian food,” has become today a viable alternative for nutrition for the entire world. It is as if our Pachamama, our Mother Earth, is giving to us in generosity a solution to the food crisis that will benefit everyone, even the capitalist countries that destroy her environment.
Brothers and sisters, the right to development, social and collective human rights, and the rights of Mother Earth, integral and complementary, are expressed in respect for the diversity of visions and approaches of models of development, without impositions, without paternalistic or colonialist demands, and without monarchies, oligarchies or hierarchies.
In this moment in which we assume this great responsibility of the Presidency of the G77+China, permit us to express, with humility but with the force of our convictions and the spirit of our peoples, 10 FUNDAMENTAL TASKS.1. FROM SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT TO INTEGRAL DEVLOPMENT IN EQUILIBRIUM WITH MOTHER EARTH.
Development ought to be oriented to eliminating gaps in material wealth; the diverse economies ought to promote the common good and satisfy at the same time the material, cultural and spiritual needs of the societies in a framework of harmony with nature. In Bolivia, this world view is summarized by the phrase “Vivir Bien” (Living Well, Properly, or Carefully).
We know also that the race for the acquisition of wealth, which has generated climactic change, will affect principally the countries of the South. Of the total of the estimated economic costs as a result of the impact of climate change, between 75% and 80% will be assumed directly by our countries.Therefore:- We
ought to implement necessary policies and programs to prevent and avoid the exhaustion of natural resources. Life depends on sustaining the regenerative capacity of the life systems of Mother Earth and on the integral and sustainable management of their components. Therefore, along with individual rights and the collective rights of the peoples, we ought to incorporate in all legislation the rights of Mother Earth. Nature can exist without with the human being; but the human being cannot exist for a single second without nature. Therefore we have to make the human being more adapted to nature and to humanize nature responsibly.- Integral
development also means changing the order of priorities in the generation of wealth. From an economy for gain, profit and stockpiling, we ought to move toward an economy for the satisfaction of human needs. Above and beyond dividing the world between the very rich and the poor, the economy of gain is going to annihilate the natural conditions for human life.- Integral
development involves respecting various individual and collective attitudes, but giving priority to the production of common property, of wealth shared among all the inhabitants of a country and then among all the inhabitants of a continent and the world. The greatest wealth is the wealth that belongs to all. The best economy, the most long-lasting and just, is one that distributes among all persons.2. TO RE-ESTABLISH DEMOCRACY: FROM REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY TO PARTICIPATORY AND COMMUNITY DEMOCRACY THAT DEMOCRATIZES WEALTH
Today throughout the entire world democratic forms of electing governments are consolidated. Nevertheless, discouragement and absenteeism also are gaining force. Increasingly, less people arrive at the voting booth, and it is not because the people do not want to participate in the decisions of government. What happens is that the people feel that to cast a vote each four or five years is not sufficient. They feel that their vote every five years is increasingly becoming a dictatorship by financial markets. The young want to participate, but more continually and in a direct manner in affairs of common concern; the workers want to be heard continuously through their social organizations; we indigenous people and farmers want to be respected in our communal traditions. The people need new democratic mechanisms to change the world. But the democracies that are merely electoral are insufficient for this new demand for participation; the electoral democracies have demonstrated that they are tired fossils, without the capacity to protect the desires of the peoples for real democracy.
History now demands a change from representative democracy, in which power principally serves elites, to participatory and community democracy, where we who are young, professionals, indigenous peoples, women, farmers, or workers participate actively in the decisions over our lives, our rights, and our common property.
The revitalization of democracy in this century requires that political action is formed into a complete and permanent service to life, which is at the same time an ethical, human, and moral commitment to our peoples and to the most humble, recuperating the moral codes of our ancestors: do not rob, do not lie, do not be weak, and do not be fawning.
Democracy is not only to decide who will govern us for the next five years; democracy is to participate in the destiny of our life in common, beginning with the common property that each society has. Therefore, there is no democracy without economic democracy, without the distribution of the wealth that belongs to all.3. BASIC SERVICES AS A UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHT
Today humanity has attained such capacity for the production of material wealth that it is capable of assuring food, water, electricity, education and health for all. However, millions of persons go to sleep each night with hunger and thirst, do not have medical attention, and die from illnesses that are consequences of poverty and neglect.
And it is the case that on the planet there still exists an offensive and abusive reality, which is that there is a gap between the rich and the poor. This is due to an unequal distribution of income but also to an unequal and discriminatory access to basic services. Capital and the market do not resolve inequality and poverty; they only privatize services and profit from necessities. We have already witnessed the catastrophic results of the privatization of basic services, especially water.
In order to address the serious social inequalities, it is necessary to adopt the following measures:
It is imperative to progress, in international legislation and in the national norms of the countries of the world, in the recognition that the basic services of water, electricity, communications and basic health are a fundamental human right of persons in all corners of the planet.
In particular, water ought to be constituted as an essential human right, because it contributes directly to the development of life of all the beings of the planet, and it is the fundamental resource for the employment of all the productive processes.
Together with the recognition of the basic services as a human right, the nationalization of these services ought to move forward, inasmuch as their private administration excludes the majority of the population from access to these services fundamental for life, by giving them an economic value unattainable for many. 4. TO DECOLONIZE THE ECONOMY; DECOLONIZE CULTURE; DECOLONIZE KNOLWEDGE; DECOLONIZE THE WORLD
No country during the twenty-first century can usurp the territory of another country or promote that it utilize foreign territory to station its troops. That is an indignant colonial heritage that ought to be eradicated from the entire world. Each people that the right to govern itself, and no one has the moral or historic authority to invade foreign territory. All of the peoples are owners of our destinies, and there are no superior or inferior people. We all have a contribution to the world, and a world of peace and wellbeing must be constructed with the democratic contribution of all the peoples and states.
But there is not only territorial colonialism; there also is economic colonialism, cultural colonialism, and technological colonialism, all of them as loathsome as the first. While there is colonialism in any form, there will not be equality or justice. Colonialism is the most brutal and archaic form of domination that is destroying humanity. It is the mother of fascism, racism, and of all discrimination. Overcoming it requires the free determination of each people, the complementary interchange of knowledge, and solidarity among states.
The world knows that there are issues not resolved, affairs like those of the Malvinas Islands, the situation of Palestine, and Bolivia’s lack of access to the sea. These issues ought to be resolved peacefully and within the framework of relevant international law.5. TO ERRADICATE HUMGER IN THE COUNTRIES OF THE SOUTH, CONSOLIDATING OUR SOVEREIGNTY THROUGH FOOD SECURITY AND ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOODS FOR A DIGNIFIED HEALTH FOR OUR PEOPLES
We have to eliminate the monopolies over the provision of agricultural supplies in order to ensure food security and food sovereignty. Therefore we propose that each one of our countries guarantee the availability of the typical basic foods that its population consumes through the strengthening of its productive, cultural and ecological practices as well as interchange in solidarity among peoples.6. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE AND TO HUMANITY IN ORDER TO LIVE WELL
Science, knowledge, and technology are a heritage of humanity. They are the creation of humanity, and they ought to serve the happiness of humanity. With scientific and technological development, there are created conditions for integral development, for the eradication of poverty and hunger, for producing food, for providing basic services, for developing new industries, for having new clean sources of energy that are accessible to the peoples and nations.
Science and technology cannot be merchandised, traded in markets in accordance with the rules of patents and licenses, which benefit few and further enrich the richest. As a heritage of humanity, they cannot be the monopoly of certain countries; they cannot be an instrument of power and economic control.
Science and technology ought to be instruments to liberate the peoples, to strengthen solidarity, complementarity, and just exchange; they ought to be the most important means for respectful relations among nations in harmony with Mother Earth.
Through the G77+China we ought to consolidate the liberation of knowledge and of modern science and technology, and at the same time, to protect and strengthen the ancestral knowledge, science, and technology of the indigenous nations and peoples.
We ought to be capable of designing and implementing alliances and mechanisms of technology transfer that democratizes the economy and permits the integral development of all the people, over the base of respect for the diversity of visions, perspectives, and systems of knowledge, rejecting the mercantilist and monopolistic visions.
Technology, that would be able to provide such good for humanity, is used to violate the rights of millions of persons through massive and selective espionage. Espionage is an example of the arrogance and the disdain with which the empire sees the rest of the world. A disdain that even goes as far as the kidnapping of presidents, in violation of norms concerning the immunity and inviolability of heads of state.7. BEFORE THE CRISIS OF CAPITALISM, A NEW WORLD FINANCIAL ECONOMIC ARCHITECTURE
The last crises of capitalism have had effects increasingly strong and profound in various countries. These crises call into question the structures of the capitalist financial and economic system as well as the new power of the banks and the world financial powers that are responsible for the poverty and the hunger of the peoples.
The large banks and the financial systems have weakened our national systems, especially in cases where the states are vulnerable because of their economic dependency and financial deregulation, where the international financial organisms have pressured them to adopt the liberty of the banks, the financial free market and the rupture of sovereignty, as a consequence of the conditions and impositions of neoliberal economic policies.
As an alternative to the profound crisis of capitalism, we have to build and put into place a new financial economic architecture in the service of the peoples and nations. The world banks and financial organisms have controlled the world economy, and they have taken us to extreme impoverishment, leaving aside morality in order to tell us what we ought to do. They ought to cease to exist as regulating institutions that direct the economies of the states. They ought to stop promoting growth at the cost of the poverty and hunger of the indigenous peoples, of the workers, of the peoples.
This new financial economic architecture ought to be sustained on integration, on integral development in harmony with Mother Earth; it ought to promote mechanisms of South-South complementarity led by the G77+China.
We ought to promote the creation of financial funds in solidarity with and for the benefit of the peoples and nations, to strengthen the regional currencies and the sovereign regulation of financial activities in the framework of agreements of integration.
We ought to respect the sovereign decisions of governments in the use of their natural resources as well as in their utilization and industrialization for the full benefit of the peoples, over the base of an economic development that provides the conditions for Living Well, in harmony with Mother Nature and with respect to the states.8. SOVEREIGNTY OVER NATURAL RESOURCES
Sovereignty over the natural resources is a necessary condition for liberation from colonial and neoliberal domination. A government that does not utilize natural resources deprives its people of the wealth necessary for its development.
In many countries of the world the principal source of economic wealth is based in the utilization of natural resources. However, in the majority of countries, this wealth has been plundered and appropriated by private hands and transnational powers that enrich themselves at the cost of the peoples.
The placing of natural resources in private hands deepens the difference between poor and rich. The poor, owners of the natural resources, become peons of the rich. No people can be free if their natural resources are in the hands of the powerful. State control over natural resources is the guarantee of liberty, of economic democracy, and of industry that creates wealth; passing ownership of natural resources to the state for the benefit of the peoples in order that they are utilized for the enjoyment and benefit of all.
The historic evidence is that the plundered peoples are the peoples enslaved by transnational capital. Therefore nationalization of natural resources overcomes obstacles to economic development, industrialization, and economic diversification. Nationalization can break with the processes of economic colonialism and assure the strengthening of the state. 9. INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS FOR THE PEOPLE
The peoples of the world ought to govern themselves. The peoples ought to design their institutions, their rules, and their future free of domination. When the peoples are governed by transnational companies, by financial corporations or by bureaucratized international organisms; injustice, inequality, and war are produced. We ought to construct a world institutionalism of the peoples, of the poor, of Mother Earth. We ought not accept nor permit neither interventionism nor the neoliberalism of the United Nations and of the institutions of the empire of capital.
The construction of military bases and war industry in order to dominate the peoples under the pretext of national security ought not be permitted or accepted. The security of the people, life, and Mother Earth comes first. The buildup of arms is a business of death that enriches capitalism and destroys the planet.
In order to construct new institutions of the peoples of the world oriented toward Living Well, we ought to build the juridical and institutional conditions in order that our peoples and countries live with dignity and sovereignty without interventionism and without foreign military bases.
We ought to free ourselves from the ideological and political ties of the world financial organisms like the World Bank and the IMF and from their satellites and intellectuals of neoliberal domination; we ought to construct our own institutions for designing and providing advice for policies oriented toward Living Will.
We ought to construct a World Organization of the Poor, a World Organization for Justice, a World Organization for the Sovereignty of the Peoples, a World Organization for Mother Earth, an Organization of Assembly of the Peoples of the World.
The development of this new institutional structure implies a direct struggle against all forms of corruption. Corruption takes resources away from our struggle against poverty; corruption undermines the pillars of our societies. Therefore, in the direct struggle against this evil, there should not be countries harboring and giving shelter to persons convicted of acts of corruption.10. COMPLEMENTARY INTEGRATION, PEACE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
The world today is governed by a small club of powerful countries that have taken it upon themselves to impose the rules of the economy, of international finance, of commercial interchanges, of industry, of science and technology. This club has left the majority of the peoples of the world at the mercy of the empire of capital, of imperial interventionism, and of the capricious will to exploit natural resources. There has been an appalling habit of invading peoples, destroying civilizations in an attempt to exercise monopoly over strategic resources. The great powers have managed to legitimate supposed threats like drug trafficking, subversion, terrorism, or the possession of arms of mass destruction in order to destabilize democratic governments and sovereign peoples.
Against the arrogance of imperial power and its privileged allies, we countries of the South ought to unite. Unity will provide protection from colonial interventions, the plundering of economic resources and the imposition of the will of a few over the majority of the countries that pursue their independence.
The new neoliberal global order has imposed competitiveness as a premise, which is no other than the law of the jungle, where only the powerful are saved, leaving the weak at the mercy of the advantaged. Our ancestral peoples always lived integrated in cultures, integrated in commerce, integrated in solidarity and in networks of collaboration. We were complementary, because there lays the force of the people. Today we have to construct and strengthen our accords of integration among the peoples and the communities, among the states and governments, in a framework of support, collaboration and solidarity in order to strengthen life and humanity.
In opposition to the diplomacy of death and war, of mercantilism, of privatization, of the plundering of natural resources, we the peoples of the G77 ought to build a diplomacy of the peoples.
The South is not and cannot be an obedient and servile peon of the Northern powers. We are not a dumping ground for the industrial and nuclear waste of the powers of the North, nor are we the inexhaustible source of raw materials for them. The South is emerging with the power of the peoples and of patriotic and sovereign governments, and it is developing projects of commercial, productive, cultural, technological, economic, financial and social integration. This is a moment in which we the peoples of the South, and also with the peoples of the North, ought to share, support each other, and strengthen ourselves socially, economically, and culturally.
A condition for attaining integration is to have strong states and peoples but at the same time have economies that are ruled by just prices. Just commerce and just prices convert states into actors inclined toward complementarity.
A real integration among peoples only is possible if the peoples themselves decide the form of developing their commerce. Commerce in the hands of a few becomes an international tyranny.
It is imperative to form coalitions and powerful alliances in order to sign Treaties of Life to share knowledge, technology, and provision of financial resources, and not Treaties of Free Commerce that are treaties of death for the peoples of the South and also for the peoples of the North.
Sisters and brothers, we need to construct a mechanism for integral development and integration of the states and peoples of the South that includes the areas of knowledge, technology, energy, food production, financing, health, education and others.
Finally, I want to take advantage of this opportunity, brother Secretary General of the United Nations, brother President of the United Nations Assembly, inasmuch as this year we celebrate fifty years since the founding of the G77 + China, I would like for us to commemorate together this anniversary. Therefore, I ask that we together convoke the Summit of the Group of 77 plus China in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on June 15, 2014, the day of the founding of the group, so that in this manner we can commemorate the fifty years of life of our Group of 77 plus China.
Sisters and brothers, I come here with the great responsibility of sharing with you what we have learned in service to the peoples. Our experience has taught us that politics ought not be for benefit or commercial gain; politics, especially on the part of elected authorities, ought to involve service, commitment, and sacrifice for the peoples.
Personally, I truly desire from Bolivia, with all of my work team, I wish for a world that is not governed by financial systems, or transnationals, or small military interventionist groups.
I have much hope in the G77 plus China and hope for change, to have a world with humanity, with dignity, and for the good of all.Thank you very much.
The Second Speech
Address at the opening of the G-77 Special Summit - June 14, 2014
Fifty years ago, great leaders raised the flags of the anticolonial struggle and decided to join their peoples in a march along the path of sovereignty and independence.
Those were the times when the world superpowers and multinationals were battling with each other over the control of territories and natural resources in order to feed their growth at the expense of the poverty of the peoples of the south.
In this context, on June 15, 1964, by the end of an UNCTAD meeting, 77 countries (currently 133 plus China) from the south met to enhance their trade bargaining capacities, by acting in a block that advanced their collective interests and respected their individual sovereign decisions.
During the past 50 years, these countries went beyond their statements and promoted resolutions at the UN and embarked on shared actions in favor of development underpinned by South-South cooperation, a new world economic order, a responsibility for climate change and economic relations based on preferential treatment.
In this journey, the struggle for decolonization, as well as for the peoples’ self-determination and sovereignty over their natural resources must be underscored.
In spite of these efforts and struggles for equality and justice for the peoples around the world, the hierarchies and inequalities have grown in the world.
Today, 10 countries in the world control 40% of the world’s total wealth and 15 multinational corporations control 50% of the global output.
Today, like 100 years ago, acting in the name of the free market and democracy, a handful of imperial powers invades countries, blocks trade, imposes prices on the rest of the world, chokes national economies, plots against progressive governments and applies espionage to the population worldwide.
A tiny elite of countries and multinational corporations control, in an authoritarian fashion, the destinies of the world, its economies and its natural resources.
The economic and social inequality among regions, among countries, among social classes and among individuals has grown abusively.
About 0.1% of the world’s population owns 20% of the asset base OF MANKIND. In 1920, a US business manager made 20 fold the wage of a worker; at present, the difference is 331 fold.
This unfair manner of concentrating wealth and this predatory way of destroying nature are also giving rise to a structural crisis that is becoming unsustainable over time.
It is indeed a structural crisis. It impacts every component of capitalist development; in other words, it is a mutually nurtured crisis involving finances, energy, , climate, water, food, institutions and values . It is a crisis inherent to the capitalist civilization.
The financial crisis was prompted by the greedy pursuit of financial capital, which led to profound international financial speculation, a practice that favored certain groups, multinational corporations or power centers that amassed wealth.
These financial bubbles that generate speculative gains eventually burst, and in the process, they plunge into poverty the workers who received inexpensive credits, the middle-class saving-account holders who trusted their savings to greedy speculators, who overnight went bankrupt or took their capital to other foreign countries, thus leading entire nations into bankruptcy.
We are also faced with an energy crisis that is driven by the excessive consumption in developed countries, the pollution of energy sources and the energy hording practices by multinational corporations.
In parallel, we witness a drop in reserves worldwide and high costs of oil and gas development, while production capacity drops due to the gradual depletion of fossil fuels and global climate change.
The climate crisis is caused by the anarchical capitalist production, the consumption levels and unharnessed industrialization of which, have given rise to excess emissions of polluting gases that in turn have led to global warming and natural disasters with effects on the world all over.
For more than 15 000 years prior to the era of capitalist industrialization, the load of green-house gases did not exceed 250 particles per million of molecules in the air.
Since the 19th century, and in particular the 20th and 21st centuries, thanks to the actions of predatory capitalism, this count has risen to 400 particles, and as a result, global warming has become an irreversible process with its aftermath of weather disasters the primary impacts of which are felt in the poorest and most vulnerable countries of the south; specially, the island nation that are being hit by the thawing glaciers.
In turn, global warming is giving rise to a water supply crisis that is compounded by the privatization, source depletion and commercialization of fresh water. As a consequence, the number of people without access to running water is growing fast.
The water shortage in many parts of the planet is causing armed conflicts and wars that further worsen the availability of this non-renewable resource.
The world population is growing, while food production is dropping, and these trends are leading to a food crisis.Add to these issues the reduction of food-growing lands, the imbalances between urban and rural areas, the monopoly exercised by multinational corporations over the distribution of seeds and agricultural inputs, and the food pricing speculation.
The imperial model of concentration and speculation also caused an institutional crisis that is described as an unequal and unjust distribution of power in the world; in particular, within the UN system; including, without limitation, the IMF and the WTO.
As a result of all these issues, the peoples’ social rights are at stake. The promise of equality and justice for the whole world is increasingly distant, and the survival of nature is being threatened to become extinct.
We have come to a limit, and global actions must be taken urgently to save society, humanity and Mother Earth.
Bolivia has started to take steps to address these issues. Up to 2005, Bolivia applied a neoliberal policy that gave rise to wealth concentration, social inequality and poverty. As a result, marginalization, discrimination and social exclusion rose.In Bolivia, the historic struggles waged by social movements; in particular, the native, indigenous peasant movement, have helped us launch a Democratic and Cultural Revolution, through ballot win and without the use of violence. This revolution is rooting out exclusion, exploitation, hunger and hatred, and it is rebuilding the path of balance, complementarity, consensus with home-grown identity; i.e., the live-well model.
In 2006, the Bolivian government introduced a new economic and social policy, as enshrined in a new Community-based socioeconomic and productive model, the pillars of which are the nationalization of natural resources, the recovery of the financial profits for application in the benefit of the entire Bolivian people, the redistribution of the wealth, and the active involvement of the State in the economic activity.
In 2006, the Bolivian State and people made their most significant political, economic and social decision; i.e., the nationalization of the country’s hydrocarbons, a core decision of our revolution. As a result of this measure, the State participates in and controls the ownership of our hydrocarbons and processes our natural gas.
Contrary to the neoliberal prescription that economic growth ought to be based of external market demand (“export or die”), our new model has relied on a combination of exports with a domestic market growth that is primarily driven by income-redistribution policies, relaxation and successive raises of the national minimum wage, annual salary increases in excess of the inflation rate, cross subsidies, and transfer vouchers to the neediest.
As a consequence, the Bolivian GDP grew from $9.0 bn. to over $30.0 bn. in the past eight years.
Our nationalized hydrocarbons, economic growth and cost austerity policy have helped the country generate budget surpluses for eight years in a row, in sharp contrast with the recurrent budget deficits experienced by Bolivia for more than 66 years.
When we took over the country’s administration, the ratio between the wealthiest and poorest Bolivians was 128 fold. This ratio has been cut down to 46 fold. At present, Bolivia ranks among the top six countries with the best income distribution in our region.
It has been shown that the peoples have options and we can defeat the fate imposed by colonialism and neoliberalism.
These achievements produced in such a short span are attributable to the social and political awareness of the Bolivian people.
WE HAVE RECOVERED OUR NATION FOR ALL OF US. OURS WAS A NATION THAT HAD BEEN ALIENATED BY THE NEOLIBERAL MODEL, A NATION THAT LIVED UNDER THE OLD AND EVIL SYSTEM OF POLITICAL PARTIES, A NATION THAT WAS RULED FROM ABROAD, AS IF WE WERE A COLONY.
WE ARE NO LONGER THE UNVIABLE COUNTRY WE WERE DESCRIBED AS BY THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. WE ARE NO LONGER AN UNGOVERNABLE COUNTRY AS THE US EMPIRE WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE.
TODAY, THE BOLIVIAN PEOPLE HAVE RECOVERED THEIR DIGNITY AND PRIDE, AND WE BELIEVE IN OUR STRENGTH, OUR DESTINY AND OUR OWN SELVES.
I WANT TO TELL THE ENTIRE WORLD IN THE MOST HUMBLE TERMS THAT THE ONLY WISE ARCHITECTS THAT CAN CHANGE THEIR FUTURE ARE THE PEOPLES THEMSELVES.
THEREFORE, WE INTEND TO BUILD ANOTHER WORLD, AND SEVERAL TASKS HAVE BEEN DESIGNED TO ESTABLISH THE LIVE-WELL SOCIETY.
FIRST: WE MUST MOVE FROM SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT TO COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT SO THAT WE CAN LIVE WELL AND IN HARMONY AND BALANCE WITH MOTHER EARTH.
We need to conceive a vision that is different from the western capitalist development model. We must move from the sustainable development paradigm to the live-well comprehensive development approach that seeks not only a balance among human beings, but also a balance and harmony with our Mother Earth.
No development model can be sustainable if production destroys Mother Earth as a source of life and our own existence. No economy can be long lasting if it generates inequalities and exclusions.
No progress is just and desirable if the well-being of some is at the expense of the exploitation and impoverishment of others.
“Live-Well Comprehensive Development” means the supply of wellbeing for everyone, without exclusions. It means respect for the diverse economies of our societies. It means respect for local knowledge. It means respect for Mother Earth and its biodiversity as a source of nurture for future generations.
Live-Well Comprehensive Development also means production to satisfy actual needs, rather than to expand profits infinitely.
It means to distribute wealth and to heal the wound caused by inequality, rather than widening the injustice.
It means combining modern science with the age-old technological wisdom held by the indigenous, native and peasant peoples that interact with nature respectfully.
It means listening to the people, rather than the financial markets.
It means placing Nature at the core of life and regarding the human being as just another creature of Nature.
The Live-Well Comprehensive Development model of respect for Mother Earth is not an environmentalist economy for poor countries, while the rich nations expand inequality and destroy Nature.
Comprehensive development is only viable if applied worldwide, if the States, in conjunction with their respective peoples, exercise control over their energy resources.
We need technologies, investments, production and credits, as well as companies and markets, but we shall not subordinate them to the dictatorship of profit gain and luxury. Instead, we must place them at the service of the peoples in the satisfaction of their needs and for the expansion of the shared goods and assets.
SECONDLY: SOVEREIGNTY EXERCISED OVER NATURAL RESOURCES AND STRATEGIC AREAS.
The countries that have raw materials should and can take sovereign control over the production and processing of our raw materials.
The nationalization of strategic companies and areas can help the State take over the management of production, exercise sovereign control over its wealth, embark on a planning process that leads to the processing of raw materials, and distribute the profit among its people.
Exercising sovereignty over natural resources and strategic areas does not mean isolation from global markets; rather, it means connecting to those markets in the benefits of our countries, and not in the benefit of few private owners. Sovereignty over natural resources and strategic areas does not mean preventing foreign capital and technologies from participating. It means subordinating these capital and technologies to the needs of each country.
THIRDLY: WELLBEING FOR EVERYONE AND THE PROVISION OF BASIC SERVICES AS A HUMAN RIGHT
THE WORST TYRANNY FACED BY HUMANKIND IS THE BASIC SERVICES UNDER THE CONTROL OF MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS. THIS PRACTICE SUBJUGATES HUMANITY TO THE SPECIFIC INTERESTS AND COMMERCIAL AIMS OF A MINORITY THAT BECOMES RICH AND POWERFUL AT THE EXPENSE OF THE LIFE AND SECURITY OF OTHER PERSONS.
THIS IS WHY WE CLAIM THAT BASIC SERVICES ARE INHERENT TO THE HUMAN CONDITION. HOW CAN A HUMAN BEING LIVE WITHOUT RUNNING WATER, POWER SUPPLY OR COMMUNICATIONS? IF HUMAN RIGHTS MAKE US ALL EQUAL, THIS EQUALITY CAN ONLY BE REALIZED IF ACCESS TO BASIC SERVICES IS UNIVERSAL. OUR NEED FOR WATER, JUST OUR NEED FOR LIGHT AND COMMUNICATIONS, MAKES US ALL EQUAL.
The resolution of social inequities requires that both the international law and the national legislation of each country define basic services (such as water, power supply, communications and basic health care) as a fundamental human right of every individual.
This means that the States have a legal obligation to secure the universal provision of basic services, irrespective of their costs or margins.
FOURTHLY: EMANCIPATION FROM THE EXISTING INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM AND CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW FINANCIAL ARCHITECTURE
We propose that we rid ourselves from the international financial yoke by building a new financial system that prioritizes the requirements of the productive operations in the countries of the South, within the context of comprehensive development.
We must incorporate and enhance banks of the South that support industrial development projects, reinforce regional and domestic markets, and promote trade among our countries, but on the basis of complementarity and solidarity.
We also need to promote sovereign regulation over the global financial transactions that threaten the stability of our national economies.
We must design an international mechanism for the restructure of our debts that help reinforce the dependence of the peoples of the south and strangle our changes of development.
We must replace the international financial institutions, such as the IMF, for other entities that provide for a better and broader participation of the countries of the South in their decision-making structures that are currently managed by imperial powers.
We also need to define limits to the gains from speculation and to the excessive accumulation of wealth.
FIFTHLY: BUILD A MAJOR ECONOMIC, SCIENTIFIC, TECHNOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL PARTNERSHIP AMONG THE MEMBERS OF G-77 PLUS CHINA
After centuries under colonial rule, transfer of wealth to imperial metropolises and impoverishment of our economies, the southern countries are once again gaining critical importance in the performance of the world economy.
Asia, Africa and Latin America are not only home to 77% of the world’s population, but also account for nearly 43% share in the world economy. And this importance is on the rise. The peoples of the South are the future of the world.
Immediate actions must be taken to reinforce and plan this inescapable global trend.
We need to expand trade among the southern countries. We also need to gear our productive operations to the requirements of other economies in the South, on the basis of complementarity necessities and capacities.
We need to implement technology transfer programs among the southern countries. Technological sovereignty and leadership that are critical for a new global economy based on justice will not be obtained by any country acting on its own.
Science must be an asset held by the entire humankind. Science must be placed at the service of everyone’s wellbeing, without exclusions or hegemony. A decent future for all the peoples around the world will require integration for liberation, rather than cooperation for domination.
For the purpose of discharging these worthy tasks in the benefit of the peoples around the world, we have invited Russia and other foreign countries that are our brothers in needs and commitments to join the G-77.
Our G-77 partnership does not have an institution of its own that gives effect to the remarks, statements and action plans of our countries. For this reason, Bolivia proposes that a DECOLONIZATION AND SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION Institute be established.
This institute will be charged with the provision of technical assistance to the southern countries, as well as the further implementation of the proposals made by the G-77 plus China.
The institute will also supply technical and capacity-building assistance for development and self-determination, and it will help conduct research projects. We propose that this institute be headquartered in Bolivia.
SIXTHLY: ERADICATE HUNGER FROM AROUND THE WORLD
It is imperative that hunger be eradicated and the human right to food be fully exercised and enforced.
Food production must be prioritized with the involvement of small growers and the indigenous peasant communities that hold age-old knowledge in regards this activity.
To be successful in hunger eradication, the southern countries must lay down the conditions for democratic and equitable access to land ownership, in a manner that monopolies over this resource are not authorized to exist in the form of latifundia. Notwithstanding, acreage fragmentation into small and unproductive plots must not be allowed either.
Food sovereignty and security must be enhanced through access to healthy foods in the benefit of the people.
The monopoly held by multinational corporations over the supply of farm supplies must be eliminated as a way to foster food security and sovereignty.
Each country must make sure that the supply of the basic food staples consumed by its people is secured by enhancing production, cultural and environmental practices, and by promoting people-to-people exchanges on the basis of solidarity. The States have an obligation to ensure the supply of power, the availability of road connections and the access to water and organic fertilizers.
SEVENTH: STRENGTHEN THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATES, FREE FROM FOREIGN INTERFERENCE, INTERVENTION AND/OR ESPIONAGE
Within the framework of the UN, a new institutional structure must be propitiated in support of a new world order to live well.
The institutions that emerged after World War II, including the UN, are in need of a thorough reform today.
International agencies that promote peace, eliminate global hegemonism and advance equality among states are required.
For this reason, the UN Security Council must be removed. Rather than fostering peace among nations, this body has promoted wars and invasions by imperial powers in their quest for the natural resources available in the invaded countries. Instead of a Security Council, today we witness an insecurity council of imperial wars.
No country, no institution and no interest can justify the invasion of a country by another nation. The sovereignty of the States and the internal resolution of the conflicts existing in any country are the foundation of peace and the UN.
I stand here to denounce the unjust economic blockade imposed on Cuba and the aggressive and illegal policies pursued by the US government against Venezuela, including a legislative initiative offered at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee designed to apply sanctions to this country to the detriment of its sovereignty and political independence; a clear breach of the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.
These forms of persecution and internationally driven overthrows are the traits of modern colonialism, the colonial practices of our era.
These are our times, the times of the South. We must be able to overcome and heal the wounds caused by fratricidal wars stirred by foreign capitalistic interests. We must strengthen our integration schemes in support of our peaceful coexistence, our development and our faith in shared values, such as justice.
Only by standing together will we be able to give our peoples a decent life.
EIGHTH: DEMOCRATIC RENEWAL OF OUR STATES
The era of the empires, colonial hierarchies and financial oligarchies is coming to an end. Everywhere we look, we see the peoples around the world calling for their right to play their leading role in history.
The 21st century must be one of the peoples, the workers, the farmers, the indigenous communities, the youth and the women. In other words, it must be the century of the oppressed.
The realization of the peoples’ leading role requires that democracy be renewed and strengthened. We must supplement the electoral democracy with participatory and community-based democracy.
We must move away from the limited parliamentary and party-based governance and into the social governance of democracy.
This means that the decision-making process in any State must take into consideration its parliamentary deliberations, as well as the deliberations held by the social movements that carry the life-giving energy of our peoples.
The renovation of democracy in this century also requires that any political action represents a permanent and full service to life. This service constitutes an ethical, humane and moral commitment to our peoples, to the humblest masses.
For this purpose, we must reinstate the codes of our forefathers; i.e., “thou shall not steel or lie and thou shall not be soft or toady.”
Democracy also means the distribution of wealth and the expansion of the common goods shared by the society.
Democracy means the subordination of rulers to the decisions of the ruled.
Democracy is not a personal benefit vested in the rulers, let alone abuse of power. Democracy means serving the people with love and self-sacrifice. Democracy means dedication of time, knowledge, effort and even life in the pursuit of the wellbeing of the peoples and humanity.
NINTH: A NEW WORLD RISING FROM THE SOUTH FOR THE WHOLE OF HUMANKIND
The time has come for the nations of the south.
In the past, we were colonized and enslaved. Our stolen labor built empires in the North.
Today, with every step we take for our liberation, the empires grow decadent and begin to crumble.
However, our liberation is not just the emancipation of the peoples of the south. Our liberation is also for the whole humanity. We are not fighting to dominate anyone. We are fighting to make sure that no one becomes dominated.
Only we can save the source of life and society: Mother Earth. Our planet is under a death threat by the greed of predatory and insane capitalism.
Today, another world is not only possible, but also indispensable.
Today, another world is indispensable because, otherwise, no world will be possible.
And that other world of equality, complementarity and organic coexistence with Mother Earth can only emerge from the thousands of languages, colors and cultures existing in brotherhood among the peoples of the south.
Santa Cruz, June 14 2014