Concordia is pleased to announce the appointment of H.E. Iván Duque Márquez, Former President of the Republic of Colombia, to the Concordia Leadership Council. As one of Concordia’s earliest champions, President Duque has been instrumental in the shaping of the organization, from consistently sharing his insight into the most consequential challenges of our time to actively advocating for Concordia Summits and recruiting influential leaders.
During his presidency (2018-2022), President Duque set a new international standard for humanitarian aid, making a historic decision to grant undocumented Venezuelan migrants and refugees fleeing their home with legal status. He also placed environmental sustainability at the forefront of Colombia’s agenda, establishing an ambitious strategy for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and, specifically, mobilizing climate finance at scale to accelerate the country’s transition to a green future. Crucially, in 2021, Duque made a historic commitment to declare 30% of its territory a protected area by 2022, eight years ahead of schedule. President Duque’s previous leadership as Senator—including his attention to bills lengthening maternal leave, increasing defibrillator availability, and promoting creative industries—demonstrated his dedication to improving the quality of life for Colombians.
President Duque’s policies to re-energize and develop the Colombian economy, protect democracy, and safeguard the environment champion the issues about which Concordia seeks to elevate most. The 2022 Annual Summit saw the President initiate a major evolution in Concordia’s programming, with the announcement of the Concordia Amazonas Initiative. Officially launching in July 2023, this first-of-its-kind gathering in the Amazon rainforest will highlight the crucial link between the health of the planet and the health of the rainforest, creating market-driven nature-based solutions that prevent irreversible damage.
At the 2023 Americas Summit, President Duque introduced a 16 point plan, the Green manifesto, which articulated how to ensure the public sector can reduce the burden of an energy transition on the private sector and expand and enforce protections of vast land areas. In the case of the private sector, he articulated the short-term steps to utilize financial facilities such as carbon credits to offset emissions, while ensuring consistent reductions toward the end goal of a net-zero economy.
“President Duque has long led the way, both on behalf of his country and as a private citizen, to push the envelope toward timely and aggressive solutions to environmental degradation around the world,” said Matthew Swift, Co-Founder & CEO of Concordia. “His appointment to the Concordia Leadership Council is an exciting next step as Concordia looks to promote and build on public-private partnerships in Latin America and deepen its focus on issues of environmental sustainability.”