Greece, April 24, 2017
Distinguished Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Nikos Kotzias,
Distinguished Minister of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Wang Yi,
Sisters and Brothers,
The Plurinational State of Bolivia appreciates the invitation of the Hellenic Republic and People's Republic of China to participate to the first Ancient Civilizations Forum.
The Countries that have been invited to this forum, we are heirs of great civilizations.
In Bolivia, many nations and ancestral cultures were integrated and articulated to generate the Tiwanacota culture, from the Amazon, the coast valleys and mountains of the Andes.
The tiwanacotas were ancestors of the Incas and then part of the Inca Empire were in the area was called the Kollasuyo.
His astronomical and mathematical skills were so advanced, as seen in his great architectural works, including, Puerta del Sol, and the Temple of Kalasasaya whose location allows until today the exact measurement of time of the solstices and equinoxes. They built temples and monumental Pyramids like the semi-subterranean templete, the pyramid of Akapana and pumapunku.
Remains the mystery of huge rocks, cut to perfection that make the sacred temple of Kalasasaya, which means "place of the standing stones", which according to some currents of scientific researchers, dates back more than 2000 years before from the common era. It’s the more biggest temple of the Tiwanaku culture, which is a kind of astronomical observatory whose objective It was established with mathematical precision, the various seasons.
Its agricultural strength contributed to humanity products such as potatoes and dehydration of products derived from it, the maximum use of fertile land and the construction of sowing terraces showing its great irrigation technology with the construction of canals.
Their Andean worldview was expressed in their wisdom and experience, generated a culture of life, the duality complementary to "chacha-warmi”, which reflects the equality and balance of men and women.
In Bolivia, the worldview from the ancient civilizations are still in forces and constitutes an alternative to the deterioration of the Occidental model of Development.
Despite more than 500 years of colonialism, they could not erase the traces of its historical and cultural past, which today fill us with pride and can be seen in all our cultural, spiritual traditions and ancient customs.
In the world, the colonialism has exerted oppression and domination over humanity, causing people to lose their identity and reproduce foreign models, pretending to homogenize patterns of life, getting lost in many cases entire cultures.
In that context from the government of President Evo Morales, in 2006, in Bolivia was started the structural changes, including recovery policies identity.
Through the new State Constitution passed in 2009, all Bolivians have considered the importance of rebuilding the cultural identity of the historical past, the first step being the recognition and implementation of the collective rights of the indigenous peoples and nations native peasants, intercultural communities and Afro-Bolivians.
Indigenous people make up the largest reserve moral and cultural of the mankind. In cultural practices and ancestral wisdom, we recovered paradigms like the Vivir Bien (Life Well) in harmony and balance with the Mother Earth.
Preserve our ancestral cultures allows us to develop and express our worldview and give meaning to our beliefs, convictions, languages, knowledge and ways of life.
In Bolivia, we have been conducting a series of efforts at the international and national levels to preserve our heritage cultural. As an example, I would like to mention a few achievements:
Internationally, in the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Andean road system called Qhapaq Ñan (Noble Road) was declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which today comprises six countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Undoubtedly, this decision is the tangible expression of a great political and economic project of the great ancient civilizations of the Andean region, whose main objective was the social, political, cultural and economic integration of a large part of the American territory south.
On the other hand, through cooperation among States, we retrieve after 156 years of being stolen from Tiawanacu, the lytic, a small piece of high cultural and spiritual value for indigenous peoples, I mean the Ekeko, spirit of abundance which results in Bolivia to the celebration of the feast of the Alasita.
Also, in various international forums we revalue and dignify the coca leaf as part of the ancient culture of the Andean indigenous peoples, whose use medicinal, spiritual and nutritional it’s part of life and culture of my country.
We also have a plan for the recovery of our cultural heritage. In that vein, last year, we celebrated in Santa Cruz, the Fourth Meeting of Ministers of Culture of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean (CELAC), with the aim of advancing the consolidation of cultural cooperation.
Nationally, we made the Vice-Ministry of Decolonization, through which, we propose a series of actions revaluation of our ancestral cultures and Vice-Ministry of Traditional Medicine, in which scientific medicine with traditional medicine complement each other.
We also managed to revitalize our native languages. Today all public servants in my country must know at least one of our native languages, to exercise public office.
The time has come to secure institutions through which we leverage our cultural legacy by promoting the achievements of the past as a living investment in the present and the future of humanity.
Countries gathered today, rectify the obligation to care for our heritage: promoting our cultures, preserving our ancestral knowledges, traditions and recovering our identity and our history for future generations.
We will participate actively in this Forum, seeking new forms of consensus, through the Diplomacy of the peoples, that allow us to advance in the common purposes that we are called today.