Statement of the Viceminister of Foreign Affairs Patti Londoño at the decoration of UNDP Administrator Helen Clark



Cartagena, 11 April, 2017.

I am pleased and honored to represent Minister Maria Angela Holguin at this very special event. We want to recognize the important work in the international scenario of Mrs. Helen Clark. She has been an outstanding leader both in her own country, New Zealand and in the United Nations System.

President Santos and Minister Holguin wish to honor Mrs. Helen Clark with the Order of San Carlos in the rank of Grand Cross, for her diplomatic, professional and personal merits. We also wish to distinguish her for her valuable contributions to national and global development strategies.

Mrs. Helen Clark has served at the UNDP since 2009 as the first female Administrator. During her tenure, positive global goals were achieved regarding development, poverty eradication and reduction of inequalities.

Colombia presented the Sustainable Development Goals to the UN in 2012 and we are indeed satisfied that they are the foundation for the current Development Agenda 2030. Concrete actions to improve people´s lives should always be at the center of our agenda.

Mrs. Clark lead her country as the first woman Prime Minister for 9 years. She is remembered for her emphasis on education, the work with indigenous people towards a more inclusive and multicultural society, sustainable and equitable development and tackling with climate change.

As you all know we have, in the last few years, strengthened our bilateral relations with New Zealand. We opened a consular office in Auckland with trade responsibilities and New Zealand has announced opening its embassy in Colombia this year. New Zealand has great expertise in agriculture, in the dairy industry and in innovation. These sectors are very important in our post conflict implementation.

Aligned with our priority to create the conditions for an effective peace building which includes the modernization of our rural sector, that has 26 million hectares ready to be developed in a sustainable manner, the UNDP has joined others in creating a Fund to contribute with the financing of projects for a sustainable and enduring peace. Our ultimate goal is to consolidate a nation with peace, justice and political, social and economic development.

Once again, congratulations for a long-lasting public service of hard work, team work and generosity of spirit.

Thank you.