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Santos Will Speak About Security At The UN And Expects To Meet With Bill Clinton And Blair

By Dialogo
September 21, 2010

It is about time we had a respected leader for the good of our South America.
The president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, will make his debut at a UN General Assembly next week with a speech in which he will address topics related to security, the economy, and social development, he announced Saturday.

Santos, who took office on 7 August, said that he also expects to meet in New York with former U.S. president Bill Clinton, former British prime minister Tony Blair, and leaders from Egypt, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam, among other prominent figures.

Colombia is one of the three countries that will address the United Nations (UN) Assembly this year on “the progress made in the last few years on security matters and in the social and economic spheres,” the head of state said.

Santos, an economist with degrees from the University of Kansas (United States) and the London School of Economics in England, was defense minister in the administration of former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010).

Uribe pursued a policy of ‘democratic security’ against leftist guerrillas, extreme right-wing paramilitaries, drug traffickers, and other criminals, a policy that had its best results when Santos was minister, between July 2006 and May 2009.

Speaking Saturday in the locality of San Vicente del Caguán (700 km south of Bogotá) – the epicenter of the failed peace talks between the administration of former president Andrés Pastrana (1998-2002) and the FARC guerrilla group – Santos indicated that the “progress” made in his country in security matters is due to Uribe’s strategy.

The current president has promised to continue and improve the ‘democratic security’ policy, with the aim of advancing toward ‘democratic prosperity’ in a country of around forty-five million inhabitants with high levels of poverty, social inequality, and violence.