Evo's 'ten commandments' to save the planet

April 26, 2008

The message delivered by Bolivia's indigenous president couldn't be clearer: "If we want to save the planet, we have to put an end to and eradicate the capitalist model."

Addressing the Seventh United Nations Indigenous Forum, held in New York on April 21, which this year was focused on the issue of climate change, President Evo Morales stated that this environmental crisis was "not the product of human beings in general, but rather the current inhumane capitalist system, with unlimited industrial development".

"That is why I feel that it is important to put an end to the exploitation of human beings and to put an end to the pillaging of natural resources; to put an end to destructive wars for raw materials", Morales said.

As an alternative system, Morales proposed "a communitarian socialism in harmony with Mother Earth".

The UN forum was the first meeting since the UN passed the
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People last year. Since then Bolivia has become the first nation to adopt the declaration into its national legal framework and it continues to lead the way on indigenous rights.

During his much-applauded speech, delivered as chief guest at the forum for discussion, Morales outlined his "ten commandments" to save the planet.

The ten commandments are: put an end to the capitalist system; renounce wars; for a world without imperialism or colonialism; the right to water; development of clean energies; respect Mother Earth; treat basic services as human rights; fight inequalities; promote diversity of cultures and economies; and live well, not live better at the expense of others.

Morales also used his speech to raise the "very serious" issue of the plan to use food to produce fuel through the mass production of biofuels, which is threatening food access for the world's poor. Under capitalism, Morales said, "cars come first, not human beings ... I say life first and cars second."

"In order to avoid hunger and misery", it is necessary to solve the energy crisis through the development of clean energy such as wind and solar power, Morales said.

Issuing a rallying cry to the estimated 370 million indigenous people around the world, Morales proclaimed: "The indigenous people will not shut up until we achieve a real change."

Morales told the more than 2,500 indigenous representatives: "It is not possible that some countries have all the power and others not. There exists a United Nations organisation, but if this does not change and democratise itself, then the first nations and indigenous peoples could, instead of the UN, create the Unity of Indigenous Nations of the World."

He concluded by pointing out the choice that facing humanity was to "follow a life of capitalism and death, or the indigenous path of harmony with Mother Earth and life".

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