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'Colombia is committed to meeting the Millennium Development Goals': President Santos

Geneva, Switzerland, July 3, 2013


The President of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, said that Colombia is committed to meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

"Speaking of Colombia, I can proudly say that we are not only proud to have promoted the initiative of Sustainable Development Goals, but we have also made great progress in the Millennium Development Goals," said the Head of State during his speech at the meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The first one is the eradication of extreme poverty, President Santos said.

On the government policy that leads to the elimination of poverty, the President explained that is based on two important issues.

"The first of them is the exclusion: exclusion from the opportunities, education and health. The second is that, through what I just said, poverty is not only an issue of lack of income. Poverty is a multidimensional condition, "he said.

In this sense, the Head of State said that the policy of overcoming poverty is the greatest social innovation exercise ever developed in the history of the country. He explained that the exercise includes the adoption of indicators to measure, monitor, and even define public policies to reduce poverty and inequality.

President Santos also said that in order to advance the policy of poverty mitigation, for more than two years has worked with the Initiative on Poverty and Human Development at the University of Oxford in the implementation and development of Colombian Multidimensional Poverty Index.

"This index measures the state of each of the variables that produce poverty and sheds light on the actions to be taken by governments to overcome this challenge," he said.

The president urged to consider the elimination of poverty and its multidimensional character as "the most important challenge of humanity. This is because not enough to have thriving economies if growth is not distributed well and if we apply it to solve the various dimensions of poverty. "

President Santos also said that Colombia, within the Millennium Development Goals, has also met the goals of generating and improving the quality of employment and education coverage.

"In the three years of our government, unemployment has dropped consistently month after month. More than 2 million 300 thousand Colombians have found work, which places us as the country is generating more employment in Latin America, "he said.

Advance in Sustainable Development Goals

On the other hand, President Santos recalled that in September 2011, the governments of Colombia and Guatemala presented a proposal for the establishment of Sustainable Development Goals.

"We saw the Rio +20 Conference as a unique opportunity for the international community would agree to assess progress in efforts to achieve a balance between socio-economic growth and sustainable use of natural resources, "said the president.

He mentioned that the Conference supported this initiative, and discussions have begun to define these goals.

He added: "From our point of view, the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals are entirely complementary."

He explained that the Sustainable Development Goals will have a universal application. "They are going to define what will be the development agenda beyond 2015". "That's why we urge all governments, the United Nations system, civil society and private sector partners to support the definition of new targets," he concluded.