Indigenous Peoples' reflections on post-2015
Marta Benavides, El Salvador
It is both urgent and important to reflect on the activities of this week, as there has been a lot presented and little time to digest. This session of the General Assembly has so far seen the conclusion of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), the first meeting of its successor, the High Level Political Forum, and an agreement on a new process to agree the post-2015 development agenda, likely to run until 2030.
Assessments of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have shown that there is much, in terms of the goals, left unmet. As many of us see it, this is not a new era of changes, it is a change of an era, and it is happening as we live it, a day at the time, and moving fast. But are we moving in the right direction? Who or what is shaping it? What meaning does it have for the planet and the peoples of the world? Are both of them central to the change that is occurring?
The wellbeing of planet and peoples must be central, and for that we have to get the understanding right, and not just follow the stream of creative thinking and actions, for development is still not what the so called developed countries are about, quite the opposite in fact. The planet is not in peril, though humans are forcing terrible environmental crisis, but humanity is in peril, we cannot save the planet, let us get that right, but we can save the possibilities to continue to live in this generous and loving planet if we act now, intentionally, for the global common goods, and the common good of humanity.
This vision has at its centre the fulfilment of human rights and the economic, social and cultural rights of peoples, and the demands for sustainability of the planet, including climate change. We must abide by what is urgently needed to curtail the dangers we face as a result of a warming planet. We know what needs to be done, but still dollars are king, not the situation of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), land locked countries, or small island developing states (SIDS). It is not quality of life of people that have been kept disadvantaged and marginalised for centuries, over exploited by an extractive system which forces them to live lives of impoverishment and voicelessness. These people are at the centre of the actions for the urgent and needed change, but so called creative schemes that continue to promote the private, the individual, and economic gains still come first.
Amongst Indigenous Peoples of the Americas we work according to a paradigm that in spite of frontal attacks, and repression, there is still is a light in this chaotic ways of individualism - the collective wellbeing is the centre, along with the care of the planet, it is called the Bien, Buen Vivir.
In this understanding, our daily prayer, action must be to live a meaningful and useful existence as persons and nations… is this our path in the 2030 NEW DEVELOPMENT AGENDA?