SANTA CRUZ DE LA SIERRA, Bolivia – A summit of G77 leaders plus China kicked off deliberations on a new world order Sunday, June 15, with a call by Bolivia's President Evo Morales to eliminate the UN Security Council.
Developing countries, including some 30 heads of government and representatives of more than 100 nations – about two-thirds of the world's countries – gathered to demand a more fair new world order.
But Morales, a leader of Latin America's hard left and the group's current president, called for "eliminating world hierarchies" altogether.
"The UN Security Council should be eliminated, because it has encouraged wars and invasions by imperial powers to appropriate natural resources of invaded countries," he said.
Morales, the first native-Indian leader of one of Latin America's poorest countries, also called for "replacing finance institutions like the IMF" with other institutions, like a bank that would unite the world's developing nations, largely clustered closer to the Equator.
Morales also emphasized that integral development includes "not only a balance between human beings, but balance and harmony with Mother Earth."
Other dignitaries at the event include the presidents of Venezuela, Ecuador and Cuba.
The Santa Cruz meeting marks the 50th anniversary of the body's founding, with the group having grown from 77 developing countries to 133.
The summit will close with a document that Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia described as "the first draft of the post Millennium Development Goals," a set of UN goals that are approaching their 2015 expiration date.
Hammered out in previous meetings, the G77 document sets forth ambitious new commitments to reduce poverty and inequality, foster sustainable development, protect sovereignty over natural resources and promote fair trade and technology transfers.
The world is still well short of fulfilling the original 8 Millennium goals, which include a call to halve the number of people living in extreme poverty.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who opened the summit, emphasized the need to accelerate efforts to meet the goals and said the destiny of billions of poor people and the state of the planet depends on the countries' work.
Nod from China
China, which is not a G77 member, is participating in the summit, partly in a nod to its expanding trade ties in Latin America, although President Xi Jinping is not in attendance.
With massive purchases of commodities and exports of its manufactured goods to the region, China in recent years has emerged as a main trade partner of many Latin American countries.
Beijing now seeks a new model of cooperation that would marshal large investments for infrastructure projects needed to sustain growth in Latin America.
During a tour of the region in May, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing intends to invest more in Latin America and raise relations to a new level.
Santa Cruz, the richest and second largest city in Bolivia, has pulled out all the stops for the summit, the G77's first in Latin America. – Rappler.com