As Bolivia assumed the presidency of the United Nations Group of 77 (G-77), President Evo Morales used this opportunity to push his pro-coca agenda, likely hoping to capitalize on the international attention surrounding moves towards drug reform elsewhere in the region.
On January 8, Morales marked the beginning of Bolivia's one year term chairing the United Nations (UN) coalition of developing nations with a speech promoting the use of coca leaf and calling for its removal from the UN list of banned drugs.
Morales also highlighted Bolivia's success in obtaining recognition of the legitimate use of coca leaf within the country from the UN after it rejoined the UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which it had left in protest over coca's banned status. In a press conference following the speech, Morales also spoke about the country's successes following the "nationalization" of Bolivia's counter-narcotics efforts, referring to the severing of ties with US anti-drug bodies.
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