Colombian president tells U.N. the drug war has not been won

20130924-185905.jpg

Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, President of the Republic of Colombia, addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 24, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

By Daniel Trotta
UNITED NATIONS | Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:25pm EDT
(Reuters) – The “war on drugs” has not been won, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told the United Nations on Tuesday, exhorting the world body to add teeth to a special session on drugs in 2016.

“Right here, in this same headquarters, 52 years ago, the convention that gave birth to the war on drugs was approved. Today, we must acknowledge, that war has not been won,” Santos told world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, referring to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961.

“And I say this as the president of the country that has suffered more deaths, more bloodshed and more sacrifices in this war, and the country that has also achieved more results in the fight against this scourge and the mafias that underpin it.”

Colombia is the world’s largest exporter of illegal cocaine, despite an intense crackdown on guerrilla armies that have intertwined themselves with drug cartels.

Armed conflict in Colombia has killed more than 220,000 people in the past 50 years, Santos said.

He challenged Colombian guerrillas who have joined forces with drug traffickers to respond to his government’s overtures to end the armed conflict through dialogue and said failure would condemn his South American country to many more years of bloodshed and pain.

Santos made similar statements about the failure of international cooperation to fight drug trafficking last year at the Summit of the Americas, when the Organization of American States was commissioned to study new approaches to combating illegal narcotics.

The studies were delivered in May, Santos said, proposing that the United Nations give them serious consideration in time for a so-called Special Session on Drugs in 2016, proposed by Mexico and accepted by the world body.

Last month, Santos said he was ready to start peace talks with the smaller of Colombia’s two leftist rebel groups, the National Liberation Army (ELN), to try to end half a century of war.

His government last year opened peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and though the talks have been turbulent at times and progressed slowly, neither side has walked out.

Without naming the rebel groups, Santos also called on the FARC and the ELN to seize what he termed a historic moment.

“The guerrillas will have to decide whether they opt for an honorable and long-lasting peace, or whether they will insist on the war,” Santos said.

“The time for decisions has come. If we come out empty-handed, we will condemn our nation to many more years of bloodshed and pain” he said. We can’t miss this opportunity. Future generations and history would not forgive us.”

Reporting by Daniel Trotta; editing by Christopher Wilson)

68a. Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas #Colombia #UNGA

El Presidente de #Colombia Juan Manuel Santos habla en la 68a. Sesión de la Asamblea en Nueva York hoy 24 en la mañana
(Septiembre 24 – Octubre 1o.) en vivo y en directo

Tourism in Colombia: Breaking the Spell of Negative Publicity.

20130103-084410.jpg

Negative perceptions die hard. The February 2012 U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ travel warning for Mexico began this way: “Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day.”

In contrast, the analogous warning for Colombia was: “The Department of State reminds U.S. citizens of the dangers of travel to Colombia.” Consider that, in 2009, there was one intentional homicide per 100,000 in Mexico, and just 0.5 in Colombia, according to the United Nations’ “Global Study on Homicide 2011.” In 2011, there were 1,327 kidnappings in Mexico, compared with 298 in Colombia, according to InSightCrime.org and a January 2012 El Espectador article. This equates to a 75% higher per capita kidnapping rate in Mexico. Colombia’s immense economic potential is still held back by a now-inaccurate image of terrorism and violence.

The greater Colombian economy — specifically its tourism industry — is the best positioned of any in Latin America to expand steadily in the coming decades. Its breadth of geographic, natural resource and labor diversity positions it advantageously. However, it has failed over the last decade to capitalize on this advantage through poor brand management, a misunderstanding of the importance of its international perception and a number of larger, strategic infrastructural challenges. Other Latin American countries, even some with violent histories, have better managed these challenges. Colombia can still transform itself into the premier tourism destination at the center of the Americas.

Sigue leyendo

Santos talks drug decriminalisation and peace in US

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos touched down in the USA on Sunday ahead of an intense round of diplomatic meetings, the highlight of which will be a key-note address to the UN General Assembly.

In discussion with students of the University of Kansas the president today confirmed this speech will focus not only on the peace talks with the FARC – which he revealed will begin in a fortnight – but also drug decriminalisation.

Santos believes Colombia has the ´moral authority´ to talk to the world about a ´alternatives´ to the so-called war on drugs.

The president´s goal is to convince the UN to initiate a series of studies into possible strategies for establishing a new regime of control which he argues will ´strengthen the fight against narcotrafficking´.

Sigue leyendo

Join Beyoncé, the UN and humanitarian aid organizations around the world to reach 1 billion people, on 1 day, with 1 message of hope

Let's send the biggest social media message in history to celebrate World Humanitarian Day 2012
What can WE do to help in World Humanitarian Day 2012

LET’S SEND THE BIGGEST SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGE IN HISTORY
to celebrate World Humanitarian Day 2012

WHAT CAN I DO?

  • HELP SOMEONE WITH THEIR SHOPPING
  • MAKE A HOMELESS PERSON A SANDWICH
  • DONATE YOUR SKILLS TO A COMMUNITY PROJECT
  • STAND UP FOR SOMEONE BEING PICKED ON
  • VISIT AN ELDERLY PERSON
  • COOK A MEAL FOR A NEW MUM
  • COMFORT SOMEONE IN HOSPITAL
  • VOLUNTEER AT A LOCAL CHARITY
  • GIVE AWAY SOMETHING YOU DON’T USE
  • MOW YOUR NEIGHBOUR’S LAWN
  • TUTOR A DISADVANTAGED YOUNG PERSON
  • CLEAN UP YOUR LOCAL PARK

Source: World Humanitarian Day

Shakira begins official duties as Obama adviser

shakira whitehouse

Colombian pop star and part-time philanthropist, Shakira, began her official duties on Thursday as an advisory to U.S President Barack Obama’s official committee to improve Hispanic education levels.

Shakira, who is the founder and director of educational NGO the Barefoot Foundation, said of her role on the President’s Advisory Committee on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, “there is no better investment than the investment in our children, especially when they are very young.”

Sigue leyendo

Palabras del Presidente Juan Manuel Santos en la Reunión de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio

‘Transformando la evidencia en práctica: Lecciones aprendidas para acelerar el logro de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio’

65º Período de Sesiones de la Asamblea General
Naciones Unidas

Nueva York, 22 sep (SIG). “Hace 10 años las naciones del mundo nos reunimos en esta ciudad de Nueva York, en la Cumbre del Milenio, y nos propusimos cumplir en un período de quince años unas metas ambiciosas, pero razonables.

Son objetivos que insisten en la necesidad apremiante de alcanzar un nivel mínimo de bienestar para toda la población; con educación, salud, justicia y paz.

Nos honra haber sido seleccionados para hacer un balance, ante la comunidad mundial, de los avances que hemos alcanzado en este gran desafío social en el que nos hemos embarcado.

Hace apenas una década Colombia era considerada por muchos como un Estado fallido.

Texto Discurso completo (leer más)

Sigue leyendo

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: