Tucapel Jiménez | "The promotion of laws that promote the protection and defense of human rights and the rights of Mother Earth in a globalized world to achieve the common good."
Well first, good afternoon everyone. I would like to start by thanking you for the invitation to participate in this panel. I would like to begin my speech by stating that this NGO, corporation, organization, The Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, is one is a completely new organization to me. It is the first time that I participate in a Summit like this, and I only knew it through volunteers and activists who work hard in Chile: Mr. Patricio, Mr. José Villegas ...; and through them I was able to know the work, which I found extremely interesting and it was ultimately what motivated me to be here today.
In addition, also, the title of the Summit: Peace Integration Summit. Taking advantage of also clarifying certain concepts relevant to the topic that calls us today.
I was also motivated by the possibility of making known a reality that exists today in my country, and that I made a relationship mainly with the Mapuche people —with the native peoples, but mainly with the Mapuche people—, and it was ... because I will explain what it is, it is the application of a law that we have in Chile, which is the Anti-Terrorist Law.
Because the name of the Summit speaks of peace, and personally I believe that there are laws that, however well-intentioned, provoke just the opposite: injustice and violence, which clearly violates peace. Everyone deserves respect for their fundamental rights and one of them is due process.
But when I arrived here yesterday I realized that the panel said: "The promotion of laws that promote the protection and defense of human rights and the rights of Mother Earth, in a globalized world, to achieve the common good"; and therefore, I said: I'm going to make some adjustments to my speech. I thought that the law was not so appropriate, so I made some changes to what I am going to mention now.
Also, as a presentation, to tell you that my entire legislative life (I have been a representative in Chile for three terms) I have worked in the Human Rights Commission, which I have had to preside twice, and my work has focused mainly on the promotion and defense of human rights.
This is also how I have done a lot of work through an NGO called PGA (I do not know if anyone knows it), which is Parliamentarians Global Action; first to promote the signing of all the countries of the Rome Statute and the ratification of the International Criminal Court.
Today we continue to work hard for the largest number of countries to ratify the amendments introduced in the city of Kampala; and I have also heard here (in the conversations I have had) that this instance promotes the incorporation of a new type of crime, which is ecocide or ecoterrorism (as I had called it), but rather the exact word is ecocide, which seems to me of complete justice and according to the new times and a challenge that we have.
In general I will refer to human rights as those inherent in every person, while for the rights of Mother Earth as those that seek the protection and preservation of the environment.
I must also warn that I am not a lawyer, and that is why my intervention will be inspired only by my strong sense of public service, common sense, and my experience as a parliamentarian.
Well, having done this prevention, I am going to divide the rest of my presentation into two sections: On the one hand, I am going to speak briefly about the efforts in International Law, which have attempted —still insufficiently— to establish a balance between a kind of anthropocentric classical vision of man at the center of everything, and one that is inspired by a worldview idea which recognizes different relationships; think of our original peoples, with Mother Earth, and Pachamama's own rights.
Finally, I would like to share with you a specific case of my country, which I believe is a good reflection of the global problem across the border of the States, and also through the oceans and mountains, in the words of James Anaya , namely: water scarcity.
I would like to refer to two principles recognized in international instruments, which, although they are not binding, I believe demonstrate a change in the paradigm with which the international community confronts the relationship between human rights and the protection and preservation of the environment.
The first principle is recognized by the World Charter of Nature, an instrument approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1982; the principle reads in relation to maintaining the productivity of ecosystems and organisms used by humans, without endangering their integrity or that of other ecosystems and species with which they coexist.
This principle is further developed recognizing that: "Ecosystems and organisms, as well as terrestrial, marine, and atmospheric resources that are used by man, will be managed in such a way as to achieve and maintain their optimum and continuous productivity, therefore, without endangering the integrity of the ecosystems and species with which they coexist.”
I emphasize this principle by reminding you that this was recognized in 1982 to exemplify its anthropocentric vision, realizing that the rights of Mother Earth began to be protected in terms of production; that is, Mother Earth is protected as soon as it is at the service of human production.
The second principle is contained in the Earth Charter, an orientation instrument developed by an independent commission, promoted by the environment of the United Nations in 2000. The principle is a development of one of the four basic principles, here the reference to respect and care for the community of life: "Accept that the right to own, manage, and use natural resources leads to the obligation to prevent environmental damage and protect, above all, the rights of people."
This orientation allows the observation of a recognition of the existing symbiosis between the rights of people and those of the environment. This vision is necessary to face problems that are not only local (framed within the borders of each of our countries), but must be addressed both on an international and local scale.
Regarding this last trench, referring to domestic law, is that I will refer to water scarcity in the north of my country.
Gabriela Mistral, in the Tala book of 1938, includes a short poem entitled "Water", in which she describes the tireless water in its infinite flow, ending in the following way:
“Two banks drink from the Water,
Drinks the Thirst of large sips,
drink cattle and yuntadas,
and it does not end, the beloved Water!”
The reality written by the first Latin American and only woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature is far from the current situation and reality.
Chile, our country, is drying up, and unfortunately it is not only because of the lack of rain. The prevailing economic model in the year 1980, made the privatization of Chilean waters, allowing the over-granting of the rights of water, where a monopoly of which 90% of non-consultative rights are or belong to only three foreign companies is configured.
On the other hand, Chile has the most expensive water in Latin America, because the State granted the administration of health services in concession to private companies. In addition, it should be considered that such scarcity also affects the population by altering the quality of life of people.
In particular, in northern Chile the population grows, and currently agriculture coexists with mining, making water a vital element for integral development. In addition, the climate has changed causing scarcity and drought.
It is of the upmost importance to find sustainable solutions to water scarcity, given that it is a violation of both human rights (those inherent in every person) and the rights of Mother Earth (those which seek to protect and preserve the environment).
In this context, I supported the presentation of a bill that seeks to modify the General Law on Sanitary Services. These are provisions relative to the regime of exploitation of public services destined to produce and distribute potable water, and to collect and dispose wastewater, in the sense of privileging the disposal of treated wastewater, for uses in agricultural and mining activities.
The treatment of wastewater has increased in the country substantially in recent years, reaching a level of coverage close to 83% compared to the national urban population, and as such, the way the process is carried out and the destination of the treated waters, which constitutes a fundamental issue in attention to the need to optimize the water resource in our planet and in the north of Chile.
The main idea of such a project is to establish by law that the use or destination of the treated waters can be contributed to the irrigation processes or mining operations, in order to optimize the water resource, favoring the use of this type of water for said purposes rather drinking water for human consumption. Thus, in the particular case, it seeks to modify the anthropocentric inertia of the law to recognize and guarantee rights of protection and preservation of any ecosystem.
Let me dedicate the last two minutes to say something (that although it sounds like a truism, it is convenient not to forget):
This step from an anthropocentric view to one that has the ecosystem in the center cannot be done without valuing, respecting, and promoting the different views that our original peoples have of Earth. Our original peoples, who populated these lands before they were colonized, had and have a relationship of deep respect and affection towards our Earth and that is something that should inspire all our public policies.
The above (as surely someone will develop the topic here) also happens because the States strictly respect Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in independent countries of the International Labor Organization (ILO). This invites us to ensure that studies are carried out in cooperation with the peoples involved, in order to assess the social, spiritual, and cultural impact, and on the environment, that the planned development activities may have on these peoples.
The results of these studies should be considered as fundamental criteria for the execution of the aforementioned activities. Governments must take measures in cooperation with the peoples involved to protect and preserve the environment of the territories they inhabit.
I won’t deny that on this the governments of my country have made progress, but also delays and non-compliance; in many cases encouraged by an (in my opinion) unfounded perception that exists, an insurmountable dichotomy between progress and care of the environment, and respect, above all, to native peoples. Changing this paradigm is not done from one day to the next, but I am sure that it is a path from which there is no turning back.
Respect for the rights of Mother Earth, respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, is a fundamental path for a sustainable development that allows us to overcome poverty and inequality, the erosion of livelihoods based on resources natural, migration and forced displacement, which increase their dependence on informal economy, and gender inequality, both inside and outside their communities.
The invitation, therefore, is to reflect on how to protect and preserve the environment, not only bearing in mind the future of our sons and our daughters, but also adding to this equation the need to contribute to the welfare of Mother Earth.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much to the representative of the Republic of Chile who has made reference to us on the promotion of laws that promote the protection and defense of human rights and the rights of Mother Earth, in a globalized world, to achieve the common good.
To tell you that Tucapel Francisco Jiménez Fuentes is a political, educational, and electric engineer in Chile linked to the Party for Democracy (PPD), has a diploma in Government and Public Management at the University of Chile and a diploma in Appraisals Affected by Expropriation (from the same house of studies).