“The international war on drugs criminalizes and generates unilateral sanctions against countries of the South, but it shields money laundering, facilitates drug trafficking and other related crimes in the countries of the North. That can no longer continue like this,” the Bolivian president said at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Luis Alberto Arce Catacora considered it necessary change focus in the fight against drug trafficking since concentrating on supply and not demand, as has been done until now, has served for militarization, affecting the peasants in the South and leaving “absolute impunity to the large criminal groups, never publicly identified, in the countries whose populations massively consume all kinds of drugs”.
In this line, Arce defended the Bolivian model of fighting drug trafficking and advocated regionalization of those efforts with a less military and more socio-economic comprehensive vision, such as the one sought by your country in collaboration with neighboring Peru and Colombia.
Clearly alluding to the unilateral “certification” carried out by the United States, he pointed out that along with the regional work, work from the UN a mechanism that evaluates the results of all countriesboth North and South, in the fight against drugs.
This proposal was one of the 14 that the president presented to the plenary session of the Assembly with the purpose of building a new world order that benefits all the States and peoples of the world, a task that, he said, “is inevitable.”
No to the commodification of health
Among the points that Bolivia seeks to promote on the international agenda, it also highlights the rejection of the commodification of health and support for creation of universal health systems.
Arce referred to the serious health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed the vulnerabilities and inequalities of health systems around the world, as well as those of the financial and economic spheres.
“Compared to health systems that only favor those who have the possibility of accessing private insurance, and compared to those who they have made health a commodityit is imperative to strengthen universal health systems in which the State fulfills its obligation to protect and guarantee collective rights, within the framework of the pre-eminence of economic, social and cultural human rights, thus reducing the effects of the global economic crisis in the most vulnerable sectors of the population,” he stressed.
The Bolivian president affirmed that the world is facing a multiple and systemic capitalist crisis that is increasingly putting human life and the planet at risk, for which he called for a change a system that reproduces the domination, exploitation and exclusion of the majoritygenerating an enormous concentration of wealth in a few hands and prioritizing the production and reproduction of capital before that of life.
Arce regretted that this has led to growing deterioration of multilateralism “due to the whim of the capitalist powers of not resigning themselves to the existence of a multipolar world with a balance of power”.
In this regard, he asserted that multilateralism is the only mechanism that represents a guarantee of respect among States, regardless of their economic or military might.
“Therefore, we consider that any breach of international peace and security is linked to the insufficient application of the mechanisms provided for in the United Nations Charteror, failing that, to its flagrant transgression”, he pointed out.
Sovereignty over natural resources
With respect to lithium industrializationa natural resource of high technological demand and of which Bolivia has one of the largest world reserves, assured that his country seeks that its use benefits humanity and serves for the just transition to a low-emissions future that respects Mother Earth .
We do not want our lithium to go the way of other raw materials that under the colonial system and capitalist development only served to increase the wealth of a few and provoke the hunger of the people, he pointed out, ratifying Bolivia's sovereignty over that resource.
“We reject all kinds of interference, and efforts to destabilize democracy in our country, with the aim of controlling lithium. We are not chessboard pieces. We have the right to decide on our natural resources,” Arce pointed out.