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“TOWARDS A NEW WORLD ORDER FOR LIVING WELL”

SPEECH BY EVO MORALES, PRESIDENT OF BOLIVIA


 

HISTORY OF THE G77:

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.

GROWING WORLD INEQUALITY:

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.

THE STRUCTURAL CRISIS OF THE CURRENT WORLD ORDER - AN ORDER THAT IS NOT SUSTAINABLE

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.

STEPS BOLIVIA HAS TAKEN TO DEAL WITH CRISIS

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.

OLD NEO-LIBERAL ECONOMICS FAIL IN BOLIVIA

NEW MODEL BRINGS PROSPERITY AND GROWTH

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.

NATIONAL AND GLOBAL RECOVERY

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.

STEPS NEEDED TO ESTABLISH A SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL MODEL

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.

WHAT IS "LIVE-WELL COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT?"

“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.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH, SO THAT THEY CAN HAVE A GREATER SHARE OF ECONOMIC PROSPERITY?

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 hierarchiesand 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.