Home » Opening Session- Plenary: Address by Evo Morales President of Bolivia

Opening Session- Plenary: Address by Evo Morales President of Bolivia

 On behalf of the people of Bolivia he expresses his respect for the CND as an institution.
He observed that there is a high amount of tension within the room and among the delegates for 56th session of the CND and asked ‘’ is it because of the demise of President Chavez or because the fight against drug has failed?”
He explained that the legitimate use of the coca leaf in Bolivia is not restricted to the indigenous group but also other social class like students and professionals. It used for medicinal purposes. He regrets 15 countries: 3 from Americas, 3 from Europe, Asia and some others did not support our culture of chewing the coca leaf.
I want to use this opportunity to say that Bolivia do not support the legalization of cocaine. I will want to say indigenous people do not have cocaine as part of their culture. So we are not considering legalization of drugs or coacaine.
We defend the use of Coca leaf and we should always defend it.
I would like to express our steadfast position with the reflection that the coca leaf be withdrawn from the list of controlled substances. It is green and not white like cocaine. We have organised ourselves to combat use of cocaine.
Bolivia is a religious country mainly catholic. On the Friday of every month, indigenous people and in our cities we have these services for mother earth. I am here to express our differences to combating drug trafficking. The problem is not the coca leaf, there are two major problems
Number one is the convention, protocol and international standard adopted in 1961
The second is the international strategy being used to combat drugs.
Drugs are big business for some countries that is why illicit drugs are the 3 most profitable business in the world according to the UN report following food and oil and this is in the hand of criminals.
Unfortunately our international rule has failed, that is, the UN convention. What is my conclusion based on my experience as a leader and president ; The first time I came I said if coca leaf is  cocaine then I am a drug addict then arrest me and put me in prison but  nobody did.
Today there are more and more drugs in the market, more weapons breeding social violence, more illegal money due to banking secrecy.
Today we are witnessing a war between synthetic drugs and traditional drugs, competing for the market.
Talking about our experience, in Bolivia without any military bases we are faring better. The report from INCB mentioned an increase of 18% of poppy in Afghanistan compared to 2011. Recall that Afghanistan is a country occupied by the United States Army. And the INCB recommend the government of Afghan to update its strategy to combat its drug cultivation rather that they should make such recommendations to the US government who is occupying its land.
I will like to take this opportunity to say the coca leaf producer control their own crop; there is a traditional barrier and the coca leaf cannot be grown beyond the area. Want to thank the EU which is participating with the trade unions and the union has their own fine for people who do not comply with the barriers stipulated to cultivation of coca leaf.
Without the presence of the US, Bolivia is doing better and this is acknowledged by the UN. We want to thank Brazil supporting our plantain plantation.
Our effort cannot be referred as shared responsibility because we received nothing from the United Nations. Now we eradicate respecting human right and without violating people’s right. We also have soldiers who monitor compliance.
I do not really belief in the strategy of alternative development. What is alternative to coca plant? Is it puppy or marijuana? How could there be alternative to Coca? There is just an altered alternative to what is native. The illegal market defines prices so I think we are wasting time talking alternative development. If we have more planning and effective strategies we can do better.
I will like to express this model of combating drug trafficking: According to 2012 we achieve 12% reduction in coca cultivation (about 11,444 hectares) according to the UN report not Bolivia report. In Peru and Colombia coca crop has increased and in Bolivia we have managed to reduce it, so we are achieving our goal thanks to our own effort and effort of our police.
I like to talk about the short history of the Coca leaf, as president that will return to his normal life after leaving office; we like to industrialize the coca leaf as Peru is becoming industrious. 
There are so many industrial products in Europe, people often know about coca cola in the US because of the existence of coca leave. Some researchers have also shown the coca leaf is excellent for our teeth and this was published in a German university not in Bolivia. We also use it in wedding cakes and it’s fashionable in our country.
I will say again that the essence of the 1961 convention is to control production, manufacture, use and distribution of substances for medicinal and scientific purposes; I will want to ask for the use of coca leaf in our country for the benefit of humanity which has been used for diabetes and health reasons. It would be great if scientist can look into the benefits of the coca leaf.
Chairman I look into the statement for 2016, I welcome that initiative but we all need to look into the failures of our strategies to control drugs. If this struggle is not locked up in geo-political purposes we can achieve result.
In Bolivia we have nationalize effort in combating drug trafficking and the UN has recognised that. We welcome your ideas and visit in Bolivia.  I am sorry if I have spoken for a long time but I think I should speak for the benefit of the people of Bolivia and respect for humanity.

One comment

  1. andria says:

    Solidarity and deep condolences about the Loss of President Chavez. The world has lost a good &b great man. But Hugo Chavez, you are still here and you are leading the way to a more compassionate way of looking at all these plants so THANK YOU

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