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Message to the People and Governments of the World


Madrid, February 21, 1972

Almost thirty years ago, when the contemporary process of decolonization had not yet begun, we announced the third Position in defense of the sovereignty and self-determination of the small nations, against the blocs into which the victors of the Second World War divided themselves.

When those small nations have grown in number and constitute the gigantic and multitudinous Third World, a greater danger – which affects the whole of humanity and endangers its very survival – obliges us to pose the question in new terms, such us going beyong the strictly politics, going beyond partisan or ideological divisions, an entering into the sphere of HUMAN´S relation with nature

We believe that the time has came for all the peoples and governments of the world to become aware of the suicidal march that humanity has undertaken through the pollution of the environment and the biosphere, the squandering of natural resources, the unchecked growth of the population and the overestimation of technology, and the need to immediately reverse the direction of this march through joint international action.

Awareness must originate with scientists, but can only be transformed into action by political leaders. That is why I approach the subject as political leaders, with the authority that comes from having been a precursor of the current position of the Third World and with the support of the latest scientific research on the subject.


The human being can no longer be conceived independently of the environment he has created. He is already a powerful biological force, and if he continues to destroy the vital resources provided by the Earth, he can only expect real social catastrophes in the coming decades.

Humanity is changing the conditions of life so rapidly that it is unable to adapt to the new conditions. His action is going faster than his grasp of reality and man has not come to understand, among other things, that the vital resources for him and his descendants derive from nature and not from his mental power. Thus, on a daily basis, his life is transformed into an endless chain of contradictions.

In the last century we has plundered entire continents and it has only taken him a couple of decades to turn rivers and seas into garbage dumps, and the air of the big cities into a thick, toxic gas. we invented the automobile to facilitate their movement, but now he has erected  the civilization of the automobile that sits on an accumulation of problems, urbanization, immunity and pollution in the cities and is taxed on the consequences of sedentary life.


The wrongly called “Consumer Societies”, are in reality, social systems of massive waste, based on the expense, by which the taste produces profit. It is squandered through the production of necessary or superfluous goods and, among these, those that should be of durable consumption are intentionally assigned a certain life because renovation produces profits. Millions are spent on investments to change the appearance of articles, but not to replace goods that are harmful to human health, and even new toxic processes are used to satisfy human vanity. An example of this is the current cars that should have been replaced by others with electric motors, or the toxic lead that is added to gasoline simply to increase its price.

No less serious is the fact that the wasteful social systems of the most technologically developed countries function through the consumption of enormous natural resources provided by the Third World. Thus the problem of relations within humanity is paradoxically twofold: some social classes – those of the low-technology countries in particular – suffer the effects of hunger, illiteracy and disease, but at the same time the social classes and countries that base their overconsumption on the suffering of the former are neither rationally nourished nor enjoy an authentic culture or a spiritually or physically healthy life. They struggle in the midst of anxiety and tedium and the vices produced by idleness misused.

Millions are spent on investments to change the appearance of articles, but not to replace goods that are harmful to human health, and even new toxic processes are used to satisfy human vanity. “


The worst thing is that, due to the existence of powerful vested interests or to the generalized fake belief that the natural resources vital to man are inexhaustible, this state of affairs tends to worsen, while a phantom – hunger – roams the world devouring 55 million humble lives every 20 months, affecting even countries that yesterday were the granaries of the world and threatening to expand in a fulminating manner in the coming decades. In the most high-tech centers it is announced, among other wonders, that soon clothes will be cut with laser rays and that housewives will make purchases on television and pay for them through electronic systems. The separation within humanity is becoming so visible that it seems as if it were made up of more than one species.

Human beings, blinded by the mirage of technology, have forgotten the values that are the basis of their existence. And so, while he reaches the moon thanks to cybernetics, the new metallurgy, powerful fuels, electronics and a series of fabulous theoretical knowledge, we kills the oxygen we breathes, we polluted the water, and we poisoned the soil that feeds him and raises the permanent temperature of the environment without measuring the biological consequences. Already in the height of its folly, it kills the evil that could serve as its last base of sustenance.


In the course of the last century the human being has exterminated about 200 terrestrial animal species. Now it has moved on to liquidate marine species. Apart from the effects of overfishing, vast areas of the oceans, especially coastal ones, have already been turned into cemeteries of fish and crustaceans, both by the waste dumped and by the oil unintentionally spilled. The oil released by sunken tankers alone has killed nearly 600 billion fish in the last decade. Yet we still continue dumping more waste into the sea than ever before, drill thousands of oil wells in the sea or offshore, and expanding oil tonnage to infinity without taking measures to protect marine wildlife.


The growing toxicity of the air in large cities is well known, although very little has been done to reduce it. On the other hand, there is still widespread global awareness of the problem posed by the waste of fresh water, both for human consumption and agriculture. The liquidation of deep waters has already turned vast, once fertile areas of the globe into deserts, and rivers have become sewage drains rather than sources of drinking water or waterways. At the same time, erosion caused by exhaustive cultivation or by the suppression of natural vegetation has become a worldwide problem, and the biological cycle of the soil, one of the most complex in nature, is being replaced with chemical products. To make matters worse, many natural sources have been polluted; the reserves when we would be left with the desalination of the sea as a last resort, we learn that such an undertaking, of universal dimension, would require an infrastructure that humanity is not in a position to finance and assemble at this time.

” Human beings, blinded by the mirage of technology, have forgotten the values that are the basis of their existence”


On the other hand, despite the so-called green revolution, the Third World has not yet been able to produce the amount of food it consumes, and to become self-sufficient it needs industrial development, structural reforms and the enforcement of a social justice that is still far from being achieved. To make matters worse, the development of substitute food production is slowed down by financial insufficiency and technical difficulties.

Of course, all these blunders culminate in an unbridled and irrational arms race that is costing humanity 200 billion dollars a year.

Added to this welter of artificially created problems is the explosive growth of humanity. The number of human beings populating the planet has doubled in the last century and will double again by the end of the current century or the beginning of the next, if the current “rate” of growth continues. If we continue on this path, by the year 2500 each human being will have only one square meter of land on the planet. This global vision is distant in time, but it is not very different from that which already corresponds to large cities, and it should not be forgotten that in 20 years’ time more than half of humanity will be living in large and medium-sized cities.


There is no doubt, then, that mankind needs a demographic policy. The question is that even if it is put into practice, due to the delay with which we will begin, it will not produce its effects before the end of the decade in educational matters, and before the end of the century in occupational matters. Furthermore, demographic policy will not produce the desired effects if it is not accompanied by a corresponding economic and social policy. In any case, maintaining the current rate of human population growth is as suicidal as maintaining the waste of natural resources in the highly industrialized centers where the market economy rules, or those countries that have copied their development models. What should not be accepted is that population policy should be based on the action of pills that endanger the health of those who take them or their descendants.

” What should not be accepted is that population policy should be based on the action of pills that endanger the health of those who take them or their descendants. “


If we look at the problems we are facing and which we have listed, we will see that they stem from human greed and lack of foresight, the characteristics of certain social systems, the abuse of technology, ignorance of biological relationships and the natural progression of human population growth. This heterogeneity of causes must give rise to a heterogeneity of responses, even if the common denominator is ultimately the use of human intelligence. We must respond to the irrationality of collective suicide with the rationality of the desire for survival.


In order to halt and reverse the march towards disaster, it is necessary to accept some premises:


They are necessary and urgent: a mental mental change, especially in the leaders of the most highly industrialized countries; a modification of the social and productive structures throughout the world, particularly in the high-tech countries where the market economy rules, and the emergence of a biological coexistence within humanity and between humanity and the rest of nature.


This awarness implies understanding that man cannot replace nature in the maintenance of an adequate general biological cycle; that technology is a double-edged sword, that the so-called progress must have a limit and that even some of the comforts that civilization has given us will have to be renounced; that nature must be restored as much as possible; that natural resources are acceptable and therefore must be cared for and rationally used by man; that population growth is to increase the reduction and improve the distribution of food and the diffusion of social services such as education and public health, and that education and healthy recreation must replace the role that superfluous goods and services currently play in the life of man.


Each nation has the right to the sovereign use of its natural resources. But, at the same time, each government has the obligation to demand from its citizens the care and rational use of these resources. The right to individual subsistence imposes a duty towards collective survival, whether citizens or peoples.


The modification of social and productive structures in the world implies that profit and waste can no longer be the basic engine of any society, and that social justice must be demanded at the base of any system, not only for the direct benefit of men but also to increase the production of food and necessary goods; consequently, the priorities of production of goods and services must be altered to a greater or lesser degree according to the country in question. In other words: we need new models of production, consumption, organization and technological development that, while giving priority to the satisfaction of essential human needs, ration the consumption of natural resources and reduce environmental pollution to the minimum possible.


We need a mentally new man in a physically new world. A new society based on the full development of the human personality cannot be built in a world vitiated by exhausted environmental pollution and thirst and maddened by noise and overcrowding. We must transform the prison cities of the present into the garden cities of the future.


Population growth must be planned, if possible immediately, but through methods that do not harm human health, according to the particular conditions of each country (this does not apply to Argentina, for example) and within the framework of globally rational economic and social policies.


The fight against pollution of the environment and the biosphere, against the waste of natural resources, noise and overcrowding of cities, must begin at the municipal, national and international levels. These problems, at the international level, must be placed on the agenda of negotiations between the major powers and in the permanent life of the United Nations as a first priority. This, as a whole, is not just another problem of humanity; it is the problem.


All these problems are indissolubly linked with social justice, political sovereignty and economic independence of the Third World, détente and international cooperation.


Many of these problems must be addressed across ideological differences that separate individuals within their societies or united states within the international community.


Finally, I wish to make some considerations for our Third World countries:


We must guard our natural resources tooth and nail from the voracity of the international monopolies that seek them to feed an absurd type of industrialization and development in the high-tech centers where the market economy rules. There can no longer be a large-scale increase in food production in the Third World without a parallel development of the corresponding industries, which is why every gram of raw material that the Third World countries allow themselves to take away today is equivalent to kilos of food that they will cease to produce tomorrow.


There is no point in avoiding the exodus of our natural resources if we continue to cling to methods of development, advocated by these same monopolies, which mean the denial of a rational use of those resources.


In defense of their interests, countries should tend to regional integration and solidarity action.


It should not be forgotten that the basic problem of most Third World countries is the absence of genuine social justice and popular participation in the management of their destinies.

Only in this way will we be in a position to face the distressingly difficult decades that lie ahead.

Humanity must be on a war footing in defense of itself.

In this gigantic task no one can remain with arms folded. That is why I call upon all the peoples and governments of the world to act in solidarity.

Traducción: Fátima Funes