I would like to begin by congratulating you, Mr. President, and by reiterating
to the United Nations the recognition for its beneficial presence and
collaboration with the people of Colombia.

The Government that I preside has the objective of increasing the
confidence of the national and international community in our Country.
We support that search for confidence on three pillars: security with
democratic values, promotion of investment and entrepreneurship with social
responsibility, and social cohesion with freedoms.

We continue to make progress in security but also with pending challenges.
I would like to highlight intangible achievements that validate the democratic
credentials of our security project:

• We have recovered two monopolies that we never should have lost: the
monopoly of institutional forces to combat criminals and the monopoly of
justice that terrorists once wanted to displace. Paramilitarism, a term that
emerged to describe private criminal gangs whose objective was to combat
drug trafficking guerrillas, has been dismantled. Today, the State is the only
one that combats all criminals. These, in all their forms, drug-trafficking
guerrillas, criminal gangs, are brought together in a mafia-style relationship
that unites them or pits them against each other to share or fight over the
profits of the criminal drug enterprise. Justice, with the Supreme Court
assassinated in 1985 in an assault by drug traffickers and guerrillas,
tormented by the threat and assassination of judges and displaced in many
regions by terrorists leaders of guerrillas and paramilitaries that attempted to
replace it, has recovered in the entirety of the Country its full effectiveness.

• Victims did not stand up out of fear of retaliation or belief that it would be
useless. Now, thanks to the recovery of security, 239,758 victims have been
registered, and we are carrying out a determined reparation effort with
them, that is never complete, but that will lead to reconciliation as it
advances, by cancelling spirits of vengeance and hatred.

• We have recovered the independence of decentralization and of political
exercise. Terrorism had displaced 30% of mayors, stolen and corrupted
large amounts of municipal and departmental budgets and coerced political
sectors. Mayors have recovered the security for the free exercise of their
mandates and the transparent management of resources. Politics are freely
exercised in the expression of all forms of thought.

• This terrorist threat has been confronted without martial legislation, with
full civil and political guarantees and absolute respect for the liberties that
we promote through security.

• We work towards both the effectiveness of the Public Forces and the
respect for human rights. We do not hesitate to punish those who violate
them nor do we back away from defending our soldiers and policemen,
sometimes victims of a dirty legal war. Colombia has voluntarily presented
itself to the United Nations human rights review. Furthermore, in spite of
suffering caused by the anti-personnel landmines- planted by terrorist
groups, the State destroyed those in possession of the Public Forces for
training purposes. Our country is one of the leaders of the Ottawa
Convention for the destruction of such landmines and will host its next
meeting in Cartagena.

• We combat terrorism with wholehearted determination and we practice
democracy with full devotion. That is why Colombia’s doors have been
open without restrictions to international vigilance. We deliberate and
disagree, but impartial observers and biased critics alike have had guaranteed
spaces in Colombia.

• Our interest is not the fanatical confrontation between left and right, which
is dangerous as it is obsolete, we are betting on a modern democracy, safe,
free, builder of social cohesion, with independent institutions, with
confidence derived from the transparency that is based on a high degree of
citizen participation.

We have not been able to completely overcome displacement but we have
multiplied by 12 the budgetary resources allocated to provide assistance to
displaced persons. We promote confidence links between state forces and
communities so that operations against drug-trafficking are not frustrated by
the displacement provoked by drug-traffickers.
51,783 members of terrorist groups have demobilized and the size of these
groups has been reduced from nearly 60,000 to less than 8,000. We have shown

complete generosity with the demobilized and full severity with the 7% who
have relapsed into criminal behavior. The Justice and Peace Law that covers
them has allowed for the revelation of 29,555 criminal acts, the confession of
12,104, the discovery of 2,492 corpses in 2,043 graves, the identification of 708

bodies and the return of 581 to their families. The participation of the victims
and new procedures for the restitution and redress of their rights are a
determining component of this demobilization process.
Terrorism cannot be ignored in the name of good international relations.
On the contrary, multilateralism and diplomacy must lead to collaborative
actions among States to overcome this drama and its accomplices like
trafficking in arms, illicit drugs, money and asset laundering, terrorist havens,
among others.

We reiterate our commitment to multilateralism, in all its legitimate
expressions, from the organizations of neighboring countries to the most
global, but believe that multilateralism has to demonstrate effectiveness in
defeating international crime.

Colombia has recognized the internal problem of narco-terrorism, has led a
heroic battle that will ultimately prevail, cooperates with the international
community and requests more effective cooperation. We cooperate with
Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Peru,
Afghanistan and other countries. We recognize the efforts of the United States
to work jointly with us in dismantling narco-terrorism. We ask for more
cooperation from more countries and from the international community.
Our objective is recovering domestic security, never participating in the
arms race for the bloody game of international war. Our tradition is one of
respect for the global community.

We are concerned that instead of advancing towards greater cooperation for
the security, peace and tranquility of the citizens of each country, an arms race is accelerated under the argument by some on the need to moderni2e military
equipment while odiers confess their disposition for war.
Multilateral agencies, lead by the United Nations, must reinforce thek
actions so that governments fulfill the duty to protect their citizens and the
obligation to avoid aggression against the international community.
In Colombia the only reason behind terrorism is the illicit-drug enterprise.
Before, violent criminals denied drug-trafficking and made efforts to maintain
ideological appearances; today, having lost all decency, they can no longer hide
their criminal business nor fake ideological postures, denied by the cruelty
towards thek victims and those that have been kidnapped, and never
acceptable by the democratic transparency of our Country that they have tried
to destroy.

We have a different concept of co-responsibility and of the proposal to
legalization with regard to drugs. The old division between producer and
consumer countries has disappeared. Colombia began as a space for trafficking,
broke into production and today suffers as a consumer. Those who started as
consumers increase production. All peoples are exposed to the risks of
production, trafficking and consumption. Therefore, co-responsibility must be
practiced in accordance with its real significance: a task that belongs to all of us
without any reservation.

We believe that instead of advocating for the legalization of drugs, we must
reflect on the need to make consumption illegal. There is no coherence
between the severity facing production and trafficking and the permissiveness
of consumption. This has lead to murderous micro-trafficking in cities, to
encouraging consumption by adolescents and youth and to involving children
in the criminal enterprise. We are advancing in the constitutional process to
make consumption illegal, making sure not to confuse the sick addict with the
criminal distributor.

Our Government encourages investment and entrepreneurship as means to
overcome poverty and build equity. Colombia advances in competitiveness and
confidence. Investment must fulfill a function of social responsibility in order
to obtain popular legitimacy in democratic societies. Social responsibility is
inseparable from the meaning of capital as a factor in the creation of social
wealth and not of speculation. The economic crisis is a crisis of speculation,
not of the free entrepreneurship creativity. We are confident in the approval of
the necessary conventions to avoid the risks bred by the speculative
movements of money and titles representative of financial values. We fear a
new protectionist phase and the selective closure of developed economies that
would frustrate the sustainable recovery of the economy.

Social responsibility is inseparable from the fight against climate change.
Colombia is a net producer of oxygen and a small contributor of CO2.
Nevertheless, our vulnerability is high as has been evidenced through winter
tragedies in recent years that have caused human and productive losses and
high attention costs. We support more strict international conventions to
protect the environment that have effective binding instruments so they will
not constitute a new dead letter.

Our greatest contribution in the fight against climate • change is the
preservation of our 578,000 square kilometers of rainforest, more than 51% of
the national territory, which is made up by the Amazon in its greatest
extension. We present as a real policy the Forest Ranger Families program,
which includes over 90,000 rural families in collective work to protect the
rainforest, maintain it free of illicit drug crops and oversee its recovery where it
has been destroyed. The State pays a bonus to these families. The program,
supervised by the United Nations has received the highest qualification by this

In Colombia, forest ranger families protect the rainforest against predatory
drugs; around the world, a similar model could preserve the forests to diminish
climate change.
Clean energy, mass transportation systems and the protection of water
sources, constitute fundamental actions in our contribution against global

With over one million liters per day, Colombia is the second largest
producer of sugar cane-base ethanol in Latin America, and with one million
eight hundred thousand liters per day is the first in biodiesel from African
palm. The conditions in our Country allow for the increase in the production
of both, without destroying the rainforest or limiting food security.
We have introduced incentives for other clean energies such as solar and
wind, the development of which is still small in spite of the great potential:
We are working on the construction of nine mass transportation systems in
major cities and we are in the process of incorporating another ten in projects
of proportional reach in the hope of substituting individual with collective

11% of our territory has been designated as a protected zone. In natural
sanctuaries such as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest in the world
in the proximity of the ocean, consensus is reached with indigenous
communities, who through security, the recovery of territories and the
construction of seven of the nine compromised townships, have taken on once
again the noble task of preserving the forest and water sources.
We gain nothing with security, investment, health, education, all the policies
for social cohesion, if we do not attach equal importance to the environment.
That is how we understand it in a "megadiverse" Nation that holds 14% of the
planet’s diversity and that is ranked (behind Brazil) as the second Country in
plant and animal species and the first in amphibians and birds.

Our rush is to increase the Index of Opportunities to eliminate poverty,
build equity and guarantee every alternative to new generations. We propose to
include in the measuring of this Index the progress and setbacks to
environmental policies. Opportunities are not effective without protection to
the environment. Let us make effective the fight against climate change so that
new inhabitants do not inherit the sentence that condemns the Planet to a