Bolivia Hosted the World People’s Conference: “For a World Without Borders towards Universal Citizenship”

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Leaders from four continents met to discuss the humanitarian crisis of refugees and the possibility of a world without borders.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / June 22, 2017

Aymara witch doctors attend a ritual during the inauguration of World People's Conference in Tiquipaya, Cochabamba, Bolivia June 20, 2017. REUTERS/David Mercado
Aymara witch doctors attend a ritual during the inauguration of World People’s Conference in Tiquipaya, Cochabamba, Bolivia June 20, 2017. REUTERS/David Mercado

 

The World People’s Conference “For a World without Borders Towards Universal Citizenship”, which is held in Tiquipaya, center Bolivia, began on Tuesday with a respectful minute of silence for the refugees of the world. Above all, for those who lost their lives fleeing from war, hunger or natural disasters.

In his inaugural speech, Bolivian President Evo Morales denounced—without giving names—that the same agents that cause war and cause displacements and migrations are those who close the doors of their countries and build walls to prevent people from saving their lives.

The Bolivian head of State proposed to the forum, which included the former presidents of Colombia (Ernesto Samper), Ecuador (Rafael Correa) and Spain (José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero), a “joint debate to seek solutions or strategies to oppose to these walls”. Evo Morales has been for a long time a defender of a “Universal, Plurinational Citizenship” that liberates people from the constraints of political borders.

“Walls between peoples are an attack against humanity—they don’t protect, they create conflict (…). They go against the history of humanity, they mutilate science and knowledge, they spark hatred towards what’s different, they drown freedom”, Morales said.

Photo credit: @Canal_BoliviaTV
Photo credit: @Canal_BoliviaTV

The indigenous President asked for migrants and refugees “not to be blackmailed with walls to further reduce our labor rights, and not to be criminalized”.

He added that the root of the problem is not the mobility of indigenous, Jewish, muslim or communist communities, but the colonialist and imperialist expropriations of land, and global warming, caused by the more industrialized countries.

“We have the right to universal citizenship and to build world brotherhood, to build peace, and recover hope. And we firmly believe, brothers and sisters, that this is possible. Bolivia has become a Plurinational state that equally accepts all nations of our land—we didn’t have to divide ourselves into small states,” he remarked.

Photo credit: @Mundosinmuro
Photo credit: @Mundosinmuro

Another part of the opening ceremony was the reading of a special message by Pope Francis. On Wednesday, the Colombian government announced that it will bring the final document that will be created by this World People’s Conference to the United Nations, to the Vatican and to all of the international community. “We must take our voice to the United Nations, the G-77 plus China, the European Union, the South American Parliament—to any instance that allows us to put the united voice of the peoples into action”, said the Minister of Government, Carlos Romero.

Photo credit: @Mundosinmuro
Photo credit: @Mundosinmuro

On Tuesday, and Wednesday, the World People’s Conference featured discussion panels to debate on the following issues: structural and systemic causes of human mobility from one state to another and the impact of climate change, economic crisis and interventionist policies on migratory flow; the contribution of migrants to integral human development and to the integration between people, joint strategies for observation, protection and increase of the rights of migrants and refugees and their families; and proposals to create a universal citizenship that contemplates the plural identities of the peoples and the sovereignty of states.

Photo credit: @Mundosinmuro
Photo credit: @Mundosinmuro

The Minister of Government informed on Tuesday night that the attendance to the Conference exceeded initial expectations. The event was attended by “representatives of 43 countries from four continents of the world. A total of 4,041 people participated”, he announced at a press conference at the Univalle University in Tiquipaya.

Photo credit: @Mundosinmuro
Photo credit: @Mundosinmuro
Photo credit: @Canal_BoliviaTV
Photo credit: @Canal_BoliviaTV
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