WILLIMANTIC, CT (09/14/2017) Written by Jordan Corey
Sacha Llorenti, Bolivian Ambassador to the United Nations, visited Eastern Connecticut State University on Sept. 13 as part of its University Hour event series. Llorenti provided insight on the past and current state of Bolivia, and then spoke more broadly on global relations.
The ambassador was introduced by friend Martin Mendoza-Botelho, a professor of political science at Eastern, who noted that Llorenti has always had a "natural appetite to serve society."
Llorenti began by describing the world from Bolivia's perspective. He informed listeners that, while Bolivia is a highly indigenous country, it took almost 200 years to elect its first indigenous president, who took office in 2006.
In addition to social backlash against indigenous cultures in Bolivia, the country was once very poor, with 40 percent of its population living in extreme poverty. With the election of President Evo Morales, Llorenti said, came a "democratic revolution" that has since turned Bolivia into South America's fastest-growing economy, reducing the poverty level to its current 16 percent.
"That's why leadership is so important," Llorenti stressed, using Morales as a jumping-off point to address crises that are going unsolved globally. "We are facing the worst humanitarian crises since 1945," he said, naming war, poverty, finance, energy usage and climate change among the glaring issues. "Things are getting worse and worse."
The ambassador called the human race a "family" that must work together to fix the world's problems. Because the modern world is so interlinked, he argued, what happens in one place has an impact everywhere else.
Consequently, Llorenti advocated for a rules-based international power system in which all members share common goals and responsibilities - components he claimed the global society is lacking. He also pointed out that, in light of this, what is done on a local level matters. "It's really up to us to do our share," the ambassador concluded.