STATEMENT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA, EVO MORALES, IN PRESS CONFERENCE COPENHAGUEN – DENMARK (*) In debates with many social movements we have shared the principle that Earth, Mother Earth, nature can exist without humans, but humans cannot live without the Earth. It is more important to defend the rights of Mother Earth, the law of nature, than to defend human rights. Of course, defending the rights of the Earth is to defend life, is to save mankind. This new millennium should be about recognising and approving the rights of Mother Earth. Saving life, saving humanity is saving the rights of Mother Earth, because Mother Earth is not an object. Fortunately, now the United Nations recognizes the International Day of Mother Earth, it is an important step, and using this now we have to work consulting with the peoples. If we want to save life and humanity, we don’t have any other alternative than to end with the capitalist system.
We do not want to mislead anyone or to humiliate anyone, but the countries with irrational industrialization must recognize that it is important to change the capitalist system. We come from a culture of life. The Western model represents the culture of death, and these summits have to define whether we are with life or with death. Our proposal is to save humanity as a whole, a way of life, those who are with this proposal are with socialism, and those who live by capitalism are with the culture of death. Today many presidents will not understand, but the peoples of the world, will understand and support us. Here there are permanent slight of hand trickeries, documents that appear from nowhere, there is no transparency, there are selective decisions taken without considering proposals, and there are tricks to impose models that represent the culture of death. The second issue, if we want to defend life we have to denounce war that brings only destruction. The third issue is to end with imperialism, ending with selfishness, with sectarianism. If we change the world, we must begin by changing us.
We have to guarantee water for all living beings. In our Constitution we have now provided that water is a human right. It cannot be privatized. We have to avoid the production of agrofuels. The food of the West, is one hundred percent dependent on oil, when oil runs out food will run out, what will we eat? This should call the attention of journalists like you. Help us to transmit this message. This isn’t for my own good. We speak of humanity as a whole. We have to consume what is necessary, end with consumerism, waste and end luxury. Today we must eliminate luxury. Youth are not worthy because they dress in fashion, human beings are worthy because we are in solidarity, because or awareness and therefore self-education. If we want to serve people, we must promote the diversity of cultures and economies. As we are in discussion about climate change, our proposal is to change the economic model, the existing system in the world.
We are obliged to remind you that these developed countries have a climate debt to us. I want to salute President Fidel Castro. When I began my life as a union leader; I listened to talks of his that said that instead of paying the foreign debt, they should pay the ecological debt. I tried to understand, and now I am convinced that these countries, the countries with irrational industrialization, must pay the climate debt. To pay this climate debt it is fundamental that we recognize the Rights of Mother Earth in a Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights. We want to end with Mother Earth’s slavery. It is not possible for Mother Earth to be a slave of the capitalist countries, and if we do not end this slavery, we can forget about everyone’s life. Just as in the past Century the indigenous were treated as slaves and did not have their Rights recognized, now our Mother Earth is being treated like a lifeless thing, as if it had no Rights. For the payment of the climate debt we propose the return of the atmospheric space to the developing countries. It is not possible that the atmospheric space should be occupied by a few countries. To pay this debt, the countries with irrational industrialization have to reduce and absorb their greenhouse gases, in a way so allows a fair distribution of the atmosphere. We propose the reparation of current and future damages due to the effects of climate change on humanity. It is a disgrace that countries from the West give 10 billion dollars for climate change. How much does United States pay to export terrorism to Afghanistan, Iraq, to export military bases to South America? Trillions and trillions. The United States budget for defense is 687 billions of dollars and for climate change, 10 billion. What a disgrace! The budget for the war in Iraq is $2,6 trillion of dollars and they want to give $10 billion to climate change, it is not just. These are our heartfelt observations.
The rich countries have to welcome all migrants that are affected by climate change. The brothers of Africa, Abya Yala, we have the authority to speak. Before we were invaded and now in view of the problems of asymmetry of continents, they are expelled from Europe. Yet our grandparents have never expelled anyone. Migrants are not going to take over lands, mines. They just come to improve their economic situation. How is it possible that they end up expelled from Europe, how is it possible that they are not welcome? Our protest calls for an end to this discrimination, of expelling migrants. We have never expelled or returned anyone. When they arrived from Europe to America there were no visas, no passports and now we have visas and passports. We all have the right to live in this World. They talk about free market; we ask that people freely walk around the World, with no visas and no passports.
The real cause of climate change is the capitalist system. If we want to save humanity we have the obligation to end with the capitalist system. We are against that. Now with the western model they want to become richer promoting carbon markets, that is very serious. We denounce the interests of the countries that want to make profit with the disgrace that they provoke to humanity. It is time to create the Climate Justice Tribunal in order to judge those countries that continue polluting, destroying the planet Earth. We hope our proposal will be accepted by the United Nations, since it has the approval of the peoples. Our goal is to save the whole humanity and not only half of it. Temperature has to go down one degree in order to avoid many islands from disappearing and Africa from suffering a climate holocaust. For our glaciers and sacred lakes to be saved, the lowering of one degree in the temperature has to be real.
Fragments of the press conference.
*abgesehen von seiner Umarmung mit Ahmadinedschad. Es lebe die Demokratiebewegung in Iran!