Bolivian President Evo Morales outlined a plan at the UN on Tuesday to rescue the world from environmental degradation and injustice. Drawing connections between free-market economics, excessive consumption, environmental problems and social injustice, the Bolivian leader urged the world to “put an end to the exploitation of human beings and the pillage of natural resources” by rejecting free-market theory and reallocating the money spent on war to fighting environmental and climate problems.
VOICE OF ZAA NKWETA, PRESENTER: At the United Nations on Monday, the opening ceremony for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was addressed by Bolivian President Evo Morales. Morales, an Aymara Indian, drew on his experiences as an indigenous leader to outline his plan to save the planet.
EVO MORALES AYMA, BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): If we want to save the planet earth, to save life and humanity, we have a duty to put an end to the capitalist system. If we do not put an end to the capitalist system it’s impossible to imagine that there will be equality and justice on this planet earth. This is why I believe that it is important to put an end to the exploitation of human beings and to put an end to the pillage of natural resources; to put an end to destructive wars for raw materials and for the market; to the plundering of energy, particularly fossil fuels; excessive consumption of goods and the accumulation of waste. The capitalist system only allows us to heap up waste.
NKWETA: The Bolivian president also proposed that money spent on war should instead go to repairing the world’s rapidly deteriorating environment.
MORALES: We would also like to propose that the trillions of money earmarked for war should be channeled to make good the damage to the environment, to make reparations to the earth.
NKWETA: Morales also spoke out against using crops to produce biofuels, saying that biofuels are increasing the cost of food.
MORALES: The price of food has gone up tremendously, especially wheat, as well as bread. In Bolivia we are having inflationary problems, but this is not an internal problem, because its an external problem. This morning I was saying, for once I agree with the World Bank and the IMF. They say that this story of biofuels is going to raise food prices.
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