DAVOS, Switzerland – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Wednesday that his country was committed to meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, but made it clear that help from the private sector was required to do so.
Santos made his comments as part of a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, alongside Nestle chairman Paul Bulcke, president and CEO of China Energy Investment Corporation Ling Wen and CEO of Rock Creek Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss.
“In our case in Colombia, we are very committed to the SDGs, we were the first country who put them into our legal system,” said Santos. “But that’s not enough; we have to bring in the private sector.”
Santos said the Latin American country had a “special plan” with the private sector as well as “intermediate goals” in order to fulfill 17 objectives.
In September 2015, world leaders adopted 17 global objectives at the United Nations in a bid to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new agenda on sustainable development.
Each objective has specific goals that should be reached over the next 15 years.
“So it has to be an integrated process with the private sector, practical; if you want to achieve the goals you have to be practical,” Santos said.
With regards to looking after the planet, Santos stressed than Colombia was the world’s richest country by square kilometer in terms of biodiversity and among the most vulnerable in terms of climate change.
He said his country needed to be able to collaborate with other countries, such as Brazil and Ecuador, when it comes to protecting the Amazon.
The WEF takes place from Jan. 23-26 and sees experts and world leaders gathering at the alpine resort of Davos to discuss international political and business matters.