Saturday, 19 December 2009

Bolivian Statement Outside Bella Centre

At about 2:15am, as late night discussions continued inside the Bella Centre in Copenhagen, Pablo Solon, the Bolivian Ambassador to the UN, came out to address the one hundred demonstrators holding a vigil at the main entrance. His statement starts by talking about the latest document on the table. .

"..they are not able to present it until now. They are going to present it in the following minutes. We don't have the final text. There have been some changes.

We, as the Bolivian government, we have clearly expressed that we are not going to accept any kind of text that is cooked by only twenty five countries because that breaks all the principles of the United Nations. If we accept this then we don't have to come to a meeting like this - we just have to wait as the 25 leaders of the world decide for all of us. And we are not willing to accept that there are countries of first class and countries of second class.

So, our main concern is that what is going to happen here will have many negative effects in relation to democracy and transparency in the UN, in relation to the G77 too. Because, in order to make this so-called deal move on, they have to buy some countries and they have to break the unity of developing countries. This is a very very bad precedent.

From the substantive part, we know, we don't have the final text, but they have approved that it will be two degrees (Celsius) - the goal. And we don't accept that. Why we don't accept because that means that several islands are going to disappear. Our glaciers in the mountains are going to disappear. Africa is going to be cooked. We are approaching a situation where we cannot guarantee that we are going to be able to save whole humanity. Maybe some millions are going to die because of the decision that tonight is being taken and this is not discussed.

When they say this is an agreement that's insufficient, that's just a first step, we don't think that. We think it's a bad agreement. To have $10bn - and you know it's $10bn dollars from Japan, from EU and from the United States. In reality, in the pledges, the United States is going to give only $3bn in the next three years so, per year, they are going to give only $1bn. And they spend a great amount of money in the war of Iraq and Afghanistan - they have a defence military budget of $700bn and they are going to give $1bn for the following three years.

And when they speak that there are going to $100bn by 2020, the text that we have read is $100bn that we all have to mobilise in order to get the $100bn that means developed and developing countries - it's not that they are going to put the $100bn.

So, we are not going to accept it. We have to see how they are going to proceed now because there is a problem. This is an official meeting of the UN and this group that has drafted this text was not officially organised by anybody of the conference inside the UN. So, if we meet here together (outside Bella Centre), we discuss a 'document' - we can do that and then we can say 'oh, this is the agreement' - that's not so. We are 192 (countries) and of course sometimes in the UN we can agree that a group of countries can do something but we have to agree and we have to decide who - but we didn't decide that. We didn't say who were going to draft and now they have to do some kind of - I don't know how they are going to do it - they have to present this as the conclusion of an event where 192 countries are present.

So, we are going to have a part of the 'movie' going on this night. For us, the most important thing here is that Copenhagen was a success. Not here. Outside (cheers). Because there has been a lot of awareness, a lot of conscience, and now we have to build a very big movement. Things are not going to change in the negotiation if we don't have a strong social movement, a strong civil society mobilise in the street.

You know that the proposal of the Bolivian government - we want to organise a world-wide referendum in relation to climate change. And president Morales says lets think about the 22nd April - the international day of 'Mother Earth'. We want to see if we can organise this officially in some countries and with social movements and civil societies and environmentalists in the rest of the world. Because if we are able to demonstrate, in an action like a referendum, that we can mobilise fifty, one hundred million persons voting and saying 'this is the kind of agreement that we want' then the situation can change.

We have to put a lot of pressure here and I think what you have done was very great and, sometimes, you cannot win the first battle but we are going to win this war because it's the only way we can save our own lives and our Mother Earth.

So, thank you very much for coming here (cheers)"


  1. Responding to the call for action, please come to the planned US Citizens Climate Congress in Washington DC on Earth Day, April 22, at 1PM. We will meet in front of The White House, or in front of the Capitol, depending on numbers.
    All global climate groups are invited to join in co-organizing this huge grass-roots action.
    Go to for more information!