Juan Manuel Santos received the honor for his unwavering commitment
to his country and Latin America
New York, September 27, 2012 - Americas Society bestowed President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos with the Gold Insigne, the organization’s highest honor, in recognition of his extraordinary career in the public and private sectors. The Gold Insigne was presented to President Santos in a special ceremony held on September 26 at Americas Society’s historic building in New York.
President Santos, who in former administrations served as minister of foreign trade, minister of finance, and minister of national defense, has led Colombia through a period of strong economic performance and advanced an agenda that builds on hard-achieved security gains to bring peace and prosperity to Colombia´s 46 million inhabitants.
During the event, Americas Society’s Chairman Ambassador John D. Negroponte told the audience about how the president’s leadership has helped “define Colombia as it is today, and propelled the country’s emergence on the world stage.”
“Building on the policies of your predecessors, you have helped navigate the country through global economic volatility towards growth and stability. In only the first half of your presidency, over 1.2 million Colombians have been lifted out of poverty and more than 2 million new jobs have been created,” said Chairman Negroponte. “With the joint signing of the General Agreement for the Termination of Conflict earlier this month, and the confirmation of peace talks in Oslo this October, you have brought very real hope to Colombia and to the hemisphere that a half century of conflict may at last be coming to an end.”
In his speech, President Santos expressed his appreciation for the honor and described the goals he set out to achieve during his tenure. “I wanted a government that was recorded in the history as reformist, progressive, and decent,” he said. “With a government of national unity we have been able to approve 84 pieces of legislation...Five of them have been constitutional reforms. This has no precedent in our history, not only by the quantity, but also the quality of the reforms.”
President Santos also commented on the peace negotiations with the insurgency recently launched by his government. “The right moment to take that step is right now for them and for us… I am determined to take this to the end and to a successful end,” he stated.
Americas Society’s Gold Insigne is awarded to leaders of democratically elected heads of state from the Western Hemisphere who work to promote greater awareness of the cultural, social, and political realities of the region, and greater understanding among the nations of the Americas.
Past honorees of the Gold Insigne have included Álvaro Uribe, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Michelle Bachelet, Alan García, and Felipe Calderón.
Visit www.as-coa.org/santos to access a webcast of the event.
Press Inquiries: Please contact Adriana La Rotta at email@example.com or 1-212-277-8384.
Americas Society is the premier organization dedicated to education, debate and dialogue in the Americas. Established by David Rockefeller, our mission is to foster an understanding of the contemporary political, social and economic issues confronting Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationship. Visit us at www.as-coa.org.