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Bolivia denounces the commercialization of the health sector and affirms that the vaccine against COVID-19 must be a human right

ByMicheal Johnson

Sep 24, 2021

The multidimensional crisis of capitalism and health caused by COVID-19 has shown that inequality continues “between the countries of central capitalism and those of the periphery, euphemistically called developed countries and developing countries,” said the president of Bolivia on Thursday. , Luis Alberto Arce.

In his speech during the 76th session of the General Assembly, the Bolivian president highlighted that the coronavirus pandemic has shown that the fragility of societies and States has generated a series of negative impacts on health, the economy, education, and which, in turn, has put at risk the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda goals.

After denouncing the unequal concentration of vaccines worldwide, where only 1.1% of the low-income population has been inoculated with a dose, he pointed out that capitalism “has commercialized” all areas of society and that the health sector “Does not escape its tentacles.”

“Medical science must be at the service of humanity, without any kind of geographical, political, social or national discrimination; Access to the vaccine must be considered a human right. We cannot be indifferent, much less profit from health in times of pandemic”, He sentenced.

As a solution to the unequal distribution of vaccines, he proposed that transnational companies release their patents and share their knowledge, that the UN and governments work together to prevent the hoarding of vaccines and promote “universal, fair, equitable and timely” access to immunizations.

In the economic sphere, he concluded that the pandemic has highlighted the inequalities in the financial system and the world economy, for which he highlighted the need to strengthen integration and cooperation.

“In this context, the reconstruction of our economies is essential for social protection and health; that is, to safeguard and protect workers, male and female workers, peasants, indigenous, native, micro and small businessmen and women entrepreneurs, in the same way as banks, large companies and global corporations are protected ”, explained.

Four proposals for the Climate Conference

After explaining that his country promotes a new model of coexistence for well-being called “Living Well” that seeks to leave behind predation, irrational competition, excessive consumerism and the accumulation of profits at the expense of Mother Earth, he proposed four axes for the upcoming UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, known as COP26:

  • Limit temperature rise beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius by allocating the carbon budget across countries
  • Urge the central capitalist countries to assume the climate debt through financial cooperation, technology transfer and capacity building
  • Recover the knowledge, practices and experiences of indigenous nations and peoples in the construction of societies and ecosystems
  • Strengthen and accelerate countries’ efforts against the climate crisis, particularly those approaches that are not based on carbon markets.

Bolivia suffered a coup in 2019

Arce closed his speech by explaining that, after a “regrettable coup d’état that occurred in November 2019”, Bolivia regained its democracy last October thanks “to the unity, struggle and conscience of the Bolivian people ratified at the polls” and that the Constitutional order was broken with the participation of multiple national and foreign actors.

Among them, he cited “politicians who at the polls do not have the support of the people, poor members of the Police and the Armed Forces, civic committees, the Catholic hierarchy and hegemonic media”, and added that “also had the participation of the OAS, through its General secretary Luis Almagro; from other governments such as Argentina, which sent arms and ammunition to the coup plotters, the representative of the European Union and other non-governmental organizations of international origin ”.

He then indicated that a report presented by an international group of independent experts identified serious human rights violations, massacres and summary executions in Bolivia, for which he expressed his commitment to see justice done.

“For the 38 lives lost, for the hundreds of wounded, detained, persecuted, asylees and exiles; for the serious human rights violations that were carried out during a de facto government; because justice is an essential condition of all democracy, and of the construction of a true social peace ”.

Finally, he vindicated the right of his country “to obtain a free, sovereign and useful exit to the Pacific Ocean” in dialogue with Chile, based on the ruling of the International Court of Justice of October 1, 2018.

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