As an institution, Concordia is highly invested in the security and prosperity of the Americas and has prioritized collaboration across the Western Hemisphere as focal point of our 2017 programming and beyond. To address the most pressing challenges of the region through the lens of partnership, we were pleased to host our first international convening through the Concordia Americas Summit in Bogotá. This exclusive, invitation-only event convened over 100 public and private sector leaders for high-level dialogues to address the political and economic priorities of Colombia and the region more broadly. These dynamic and participatory discussions, where everyone around the table was encouraged to contribute, served as high-level working groups. This intimate gathering encouraged conversations between former heads of state, high ranking government officials, CEOs, and leaders of multilateral organizations who explored three major issue areas, including: regional corruption, the implementation of the recently approved peace deal, and a roadmap to achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
The day-long Americas Summit to take the format of a strategic dialogue which featured 40-50 select individuals, including current and former heads of state, CEOs of leading corporations, and heads of multilateral organizations, who discussed particularly pressing global challenges in depth. These curated, interactive discussions, where everyone around the table was encouraged to participate, served as high-level working groups. These discussions produced strategic deliverables, including policy recommendations, collections of challenge opportunities, and repositories of best practices.
7:30AM-8:30AM Registration & CoffeeMetropolitan Room
9:00AM-9:20AM Welcome RemarksMetropolitan Room
9:20AM-9:30AM Opening RemarksMetropolitan Room
H.E. Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Former President of Colombia, Concordia Leadership Council Member
9:30AM-11:15AM Combatting Corruption: Fostering a Culture of Transparency, Accountability, & IntegrityMetropolitan Room
According to the World Economic Forum, Latin American leaders identified corruption as the single most important challenge for the region in 2015. Corruption, exacerbated by a lack of transparency and accountability, has had substantial implications for justice systems, human rights, and regional security. Despite realizations of this regional epidemic, corruptive practices continue. In 2013, 84% of Colombian respondents to a Transparency International survey stated that the level of corruption in the country has either increased or stayed the same over the last two years, with 57% of respondents stating that the government’s actions are ineffective in the fight against corruption. These statistics highlight the need for a collaborative effort to promote transparency and enforce accountability in order to strengthen governance, enforce the rule of law, and promote just societies throughout the region. Independent judicial systems and principled politics are necessary to improve this situation, which has repercussions beyond the public sector, influencing investment decisions, economic growth, and social stability. This session will seek to continue the conversation on Corruption & Governance in Latin America at Concordia’s Strategic Dialogue held during the 2016 Annual Summit in New York City.
11:15AM-11:45AM Coffee Break
11:45AM-1:30PM Investing in the SDGs: Aligning Regional Priorities with the Global GoalsMetropolitan Room
At the 2016 Concordia Summit in New York, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, called for action in creating “partnerships for the common good” to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As the first signatory of the SDGs, Colombia has proven interest in and dedication to achieving these landmark goals. Indeed, both Colombia’s National Development Plan and specifically mandated Inter-Agency Commission for the Preparation and Effective Implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the SDGs deeply integrate the U.N. goals into their strategy and framework.
In this session, participants will discuss the region’s future development in a global context by highlighting how partnerships can address issues such as: agriculture and food supply, healthcare, education, gender equality, climate and energy, economic growth and inequality, infrastructure and urbanization. While the public sector has been successful in outlining a visionary mission for global development, businesses have the unique ability to bridge the capacity gap to reach the impact and scale necessary to meet the SDGs. Collaboration between the public and private sectors is vital in creating an effective strategy and successfully implementing it. This dialogue will serve as a precursor and idea incubator for Global Partnerships Week in March 2017 in Washington, D.C. which will focus on Goal #17 – Partnerships for the Goals.
1:45PM-2:45PM Networking LuncheonFundadores Room
3:00PM-3:10PM Afternoon RemarksMetropolitan Room
H.E. Andrés Pastrana, Former President of Colombia, Concordia Leadership Council Member
3:10PM-5:00PM Path to Peace: The American Role in a Comprehensive Resolution to the Conflict in ColombiaMetropolitan Room
While Colombia’s long and complex history of armed conflict and violence seems to be coming to an end, there will be a long road ahead to repair the political and societal divisions that were evidenced during the peace negotiation process. Recent months have seen a number of political shifts in the region, not only with the ratification of the peace accord by Colombian Congress, but also with the election of new leadership in the U.S. This conversation will bring together leaders from across the political spectrum in Colombia and the U.S. to analyze how changes in American foreign policy will impact the implementation of the new peace deal, and to examine the implications of these recent political developments on Colombian society and the region as a whole. Participants will discuss how the policies of the incoming U.S. Administration will affect current free trade relations, future NATO membership, drug policy, transnational organized crime, and extradition, among other issues. Additionally, participants will seek to address challenges related to the execution of the approved peace deal, identifying the legal, economic, institutional, political, social, and international considerations and reforms necessary for successful implementation.
5:00PM-5:15PM Concluding Remarks from Concordia Co-FoundersMetropolitan Room
5:15PM-5:30PM Closing RemarksMetropolitan Room
H.E. Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia