Post sponsored by NewzEngine.com

MIL OSI Translation. Region: Spanish / Latin America / UN –

• Dear friends:

• I thank the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy for inviting me to participate today in the installation of the VII Regional Forum on Youth and Democracy and for allowing me to share with you some reflections on Colombian foreign policy, the execution of which was entrusted to me by President Ivan Duke since August 7 of last year.

• As you all know, that day began the constitutional period of President Iván Duque, who was elected with the highest vote recorded so far in the history of Colombia. President Duque received a clear democratic mandate: to lead, in the midst of great challenges, a “Pact for Colombia” that allows us to take advantage of the opportunities, equally great, that the present offers us, to continue building a country ambitiously projected towards the future.

• This mandate is particularly relevant as it coincides with the commemoration of the Bicentennial of the Independence of Colombia.

• The purpose of the “Pact for Colombia” proposed by President Duque is to build with the plurality of all Colombians a more equitable country, based on legality and entrepreneurship; a country driven by innovation, and firmly committed to the sustainability of our efforts and the results that those efforts allow us to achieve ..

• Our foreign policy is at the service of that purpose.

• We are making a foreign policy of legality and for legality: that is, a foreign policy that reflects our sense of responsibility as members of the international community and our conviction that the maintenance of stability and international order, multilateralism and good governance, are fundamental to face the specific challenges of today, many of which demand the collective and coordinated action of nations, and many of which concern not only us but future generations.

• We are making a foreign policy of and for entrepreneurship: that is, a foreign policy that contributes to more and more Colombians, making sustainable use of the country’s natural resources and the resources of its own ingenuity, creativity, intelligence and their free initiative, participate actively in the generation of new wealth.

• We are making a foreign policy for equity: that is, an external policy at the service of greater welfare for a growing number of Colombians. This well-being will be the result of the combination of favorable conditions for each Colombian to freely and responsibly define his life project, with increasing opportunities to access, through personal effort, solidarity, and the support of an effective government, to the benefits of economic growth and social progress.

• In that sense, our foreign policy is a policy with global perspectives; but strongly articulated with our internal policy, with the task that the Government of President Duque has imposed, in accordance with the democratic mandate it received from its compatriots.

• Dear friends:

• The defense of freedom, the consolidation of democratic institutions and the strengthening of the Rule of Law are central to the thinking of the Network to which you belong and for these purposes the Government of Colombia fully agrees, both in its programmatic agenda – the Pact for Colombia that will be our roadmap for the next four years – as in its foreign policy.

• Indeed: in our foreign relations, diplomacy for legality implies that Colombia will responsibly exercise, with the country and with the world, its role as an active member of the international community.

• We have demonstrated our commitment to international legality in the response to the breakdown of democratic order and the rule of law in Venezuela, which threatens the stability of the region and has caused a multidimensional crisis – that is, institutional, economic, humanitarian and security- and an unprecedented flow of migrants.

• In the foreign policy of the countries there are some issues that are on the agenda by choice and others that are urgent and necessary. With Venezuela we share 2,200 kilometers of border and before the seriousness of what is happening in the sister country, Colombia can not be indifferent, because as President Iván Duque has pointed out: “What destroys Venezuela, destroys Colombia. What builds Venezuela, builds Colombia. “

• The situation in Venezuela today constitutes, therefore, a necessary, not optional, issue of the Colombian foreign policy agenda, because it directly affects us, more than any other country in the world.

• And it affects us not only as a matter of foreign policy. It also has to do with multiple aspects of the internal agenda, due to the challenges faced by both the Government and society, arising among others, from the arrival of more than 1.4 million migrants from that country, as a consequence of the failed governance of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro.

• It can not be ignored that the primary cause of the deep crisis in Venezuela is the breakdown of the democratic order and the destruction of the Rule of Law. The restoration of democracy and constitutional normalization is then the necessary condition for overcoming the crisis.

• For a challenge of this magnitude, the collective response is indispensable. For this reason, Colombia, in accordance with its commitment to multilateralism and respect for international law, has acted within the framework of the Lima Group and the OAS, firmly committed to supporting the creation of conditions that allow the Venezuelan people to live again in democracy and freedom. Only in this way will Venezuelans be able to undertake the urgent task of institutional, economic and social reconstruction of their country. A task that the Government of Colombia is willing to support, for the benefit of Venezuela and as an opportunity also for Colombia and for Colombians.

• This is a purpose that we share with many other nations that recognize, as we do, that democracy, the rule of law and human rights are determining factors of peace, security, stability and progress.

• This is enshrined in the Charter of the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, pursuant to which we have an obligation to promote and defend democracy in the hemisphere.

• This can not be understood in any way as interference in the internal affairs of another State. On the contrary, it is nothing more than compliance with international obligations that the States of the region, in the exercise of our sovereignty, have established as central axes of hemispheric governance and inter-American international law.

• What it is about, ultimately, is the will and ability of democrats and democracies to peacefully defend democrats and democracy in the region.

• Faced with the situation in Venezuela, we can not be indifferent. For this reason, we have welcomed with solidarity more than 1.4 million migrants who have arrived fleeing the economic, social and humanitarian crisis, direct consequences of tyranny and oppression, fear, deprivation and need, which prevail in that country, on account of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro. We appreciate the support of the international community to respond to this challenge, which can not be addressed alone and which limits our national capacities to the limit, not only of Colombia, but of the other recipient countries.

• Faced with the situation in Venezuela, we can not be accomplices. That is why we have joined many other voices to denounce the human rights violations perpetrated by the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro; and several States have sent these complaints to the International Criminal Court for investigation. Hopefully more and more nations endorse this initiative, in defense of international legality.

• That is why, because we can not be indifferent or accomplices, we support the process of constitutional normalization and restoration of democracy in Venezuela. With dozens of countries from the region and the world, we express our gratitude to the National Assembly as constitutional organ and legitimately elected in Venezuela; and its President, Juan Guaidó, as President in Charge. We reiterate our full support to both in the exercise of their constitutional powers, and in the realization, as soon as the conditions are in place, of new free, transparent and fair elections, with full guarantees, with international observation and accompaniment. This will lead, sooner or later, the itinerary defined by President Guaidó, after the cessation of the usurpation and the establishment of a transitional government that generates the material, institutional and electoral conditions for the realization of new elections.

• Dear friends:

• The commitment of our foreign policy to legality also includes promoting the fight against corruption, which today is one of the greatest challenges faced by democratic nations such as Colombia and many others in the region.

• Corruption erodes the rule of law, makes more expensive and inhibits entrepreneurship, delays equity. Despite all national and international efforts, corruption has been growing alarmingly and has transnational dimensions today. Today, it is estimated that this scourge represents 5% of world GDP, seriously hampering the development and progress of all our countries, without distinction.

• For this reason, together with Peru, we have led the holding of a Special Session of the UN General Assembly that will be held in the first half of 2021 on this problem. For that reason, also, Colombia is promoting in different scenarios, and with the support and participation of different actors, both governmental and non-governmental, the formation of a grand global coalition that will set in motion the process of creating an international anti-corruption court, so that there is less and less space for this serious crime to go unpunished. I hope that in this great coalition we can also count on the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy, to which you belong.

• Dear friends:

• The commitment of our foreign policy to legality forces us to draw the attention of the international community, once again, to the imperative of defeating transnational organized crime and criminal economies, and in particular, drug trafficking – which, like you You know, it has been and continues to be fuel for different forms of violence in Colombia.

• Illicit drugs also corrode the law and the rule of law. They replace legal and responsible entrepreneurship with criminal emporiums and predators. They destroy the social capital of nations, they attack the weakest and most vulnerable, and they fuel violence.

• No country has the experience and the moral authority to denounce the seriousness of this problem and its consequences.

• In the past, Colombia made a huge effort to contain drug trafficking, and resisted with strength the threat of crime and violence. We are facing the current situation with the same decision and courage. The Government of President Duque has decided that we will recover the land we had gained and the time we have lost in the fight against drugs.

• But no effort from Colombia will have sustainable results if the world drug problem is not addressed comprehensively, in each of the links of the chain that comprise it -including that of money laundering-, recognizing its multidimensional impact, and its close link with threats to public safety, with an effective perspective of common and shared responsibility.

• Dear friends:

• As you all know, as of tomorrow and until Friday, the Forty-ninth General Assembly of the Organization of American States will take place in this city, whose theme – proposed by Colombia – is “Innovating to strengthen hemispheric multilateralism.”

• And the main purpose of this Assembly is precisely to initiate a process of reflection that leads us, gradually and cumulatively, to innovate to strengthen hemispheric governance, to adapt the OAS and the Inter-American System to the new hemispheric and global realities and challenges.

• These challenges also require us to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the principles and purposes enshrined in the OAS Charter – such as democracy and human rights – that remain as current and as necessary today as they were when the OAS was created 70 years ago. years in the capital of Colombia.

• As regards the defense of democracy and the strengthening of the rule of law, it is essential, in order to achieve the founding objectives of the OAS, that the States of the hemisphere have the support of actors such as the private sector, civil society organizations and civil society. citizenship in general.

• Young people like you, committed to democratic principles and defending human rights, are irreplaceable actors when it comes to working towards that goal we share.

• That is why I welcome the holding of this Regional Forum in our country and I thank once again its organizers for the invitation to address this audience, where I know that the leaders of the Americas of today and tomorrow are present, in whose hands is the transformation and the future of the region.

• Thank you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI