París, 9 November—President Evo Morales Ayma of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, today called for a “globalization of peoples” in an address to the plenary of the 38th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, the Organization’s governing body.
“The United Nations were created for the sake of unity, life and the planet,” declared Evo Morales, “for peace, justice, equality and the dignity of peoples. […] “This new millennium is a time when the people are in command through democratically elected presidents, which is why we need transnational organizations such as UNESCO to be organizations of integration.”
“Bolivia has made much progress over a short period of time. In government, thanks to the participation of the people, in the economy, thanks to the nationalization of basic services such as water, and the redistribution of wealth for the benefit of the people.” Evo Morales went on to declare that “politics are about service, commitment and sacrifice for the people.”
The President thanked UNESCO for its recognition of a number of Bolivian intangible cultural traditions and welcomed the recent restitution of cultural artefacts such as El Ekeko (a representation of the God of Prosperity), recently returned to the country from Europe where it had been since 1840. He called on UNESCO to continue helping Bolivia reclaim its indigenous heritage.
Prior to his address, the President held a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. She praised Bolivia for its progress in developing multilingual education and pledged continued support in adapting the Plurinational State’s curriculum to its indigenous groups.
The President was accompanied by Luis Arce Catacora, Minister of Economy and Public Finance, René Orellana Halkyer, Minister of Planning and Development, Reymi Ferreira, Minister of Defence, Luis Alberto Sánchez, Minister in charge of Energy, and Sergio Cáceres García, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Bolivia to UNESCO.