Rafael Correa exhorts international community to vanquish poverty at UNESCO’s General Conference


“Vanquishing poverty is the most important moral imperative in the world considering that, for the first time in human history, poverty is not caused by a lack of resources or natural factors, but by an unjust system that breeds exclusion,” declared the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, in an address to the plenary of the 37th session of UNESCO’s General Conference.

“I am a strong believer in the transformative powers of science and technology. I put much of my hope for the future of the planet in them; the ability to maintain our way of life and the give a good life to humanity as a whole,” he told representatives of the Organization’s 195 Member States, meeting in Paris until 20 November.

“UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the consolidation of peace, to the eradication of poverty, to support sustainable development and intercultural dialogue but this hinges on less charity and more justice,” he said.

“If knowledge were not privatized but placed at the service of humanity as a whole, it could boost the development of the poorest countries. They do not need charity as much as they need skills, science and technology.”

“A compensation plan for environmental goods could generate a massive and global redistribution of revenue, which could end poverty and consolidate sustainable development.”

 “Nobody is more aware than I am of the fact that—in view of the forces at play in the world today and of the present condition of humanity—this is utopian. But UNESCO was created for Utopia,” he concluded.

President Correa came to UNESCO with Ricardo Patiño, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility; Guillaume Long, Minister-Coordinator of Knowledge and Human Talent; Augusto Espinosa, Minister of Education; and Doris Solis, Minister of Social Inclusion.

Following his address to the plenary session of the General Conference session, President Correa met Director-General Irina Bokova to discuss cooperation between UNESCO and Ecuador, which hosts the Organization’s office for the Andean countries.  Along with Ecuador, the office serves Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela.