Peace is everyone's business

Column by the President of the CCB Mónica de Greiff - Portal reconciliacioncolombia.com

For over 40 years, the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce has been interested in generating environments for coexistence and security.

For over 40 years, the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce has been interested in generating environments for coexistence and security. We are convinced that healthy, peaceful environments are a necessary condition for the conduction of profitable, socially sustainable businesses. Through our Center for Arbitration and Conciliation, we have been contributing to this task in both the city and the region.

We are aware that the historic moment Colombia is going through demands that we, as corporate leaders, undertake more specific and concrete peace-building actions aimed at supporting and achieving the implementation of the peace agreements. It has become very clear to us that this transition demands from entrepreneurs a constructive and generous attitude, that will help us generate sound proposals.

In order to accompany and support entrepreneurs and businesspeople in the construction of the country's peace, we have defined the Strategy for the Construction of Peace and, in this same context, we have created the Direction for the Construction of Peace, an area through which we have now undertaken the implementation of our efforts to support peace from the private sector, which goes beyond the traditional contributions made by entrepreneurs through their taxes or by providing jobs for former combatants.

As part of our peace-building strategy, we believe entrepreneurs must be key stakeholders in the public debate, and participating actively in the discussions regarding the implementation of the agreements and the country's future, in order to activate, from our civil society, the necessary movements and enthusiasm required to understand the complex tasks yet to come. We believe entrepreneurs must also open up spaces trust-building and convergence spaces in a society as deeply divided as is ours today.

It was with these goals in mind, that over a year ago we decided to host the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Bogotá. From the moment we realized the significance of this Summit within the macro world of global events, we knew we could leverage on it to create a powerful platform born from civil society, that would generate a more constructive and deeper dialogue about topics such as peace and development. We also saw the Summit as a huge opportunity to get the younger generations involved in this conversation.

Today, after having hosted the Summit in Bogotá, and for the first time in Latin America, we believe we can share with our civil society, and jointly with our partner, Reconciliación Colombia, that the effort and this initiative was truly worth it.

Our city welcomed close to 30 Nobel Peace Laureates, five former presidents, and 10 global experts in peace and development. Never before in its history, had the Summit brought together so many laureates in the same city.

During the Summit, we launched an ambitious platform for youngsters that brought together 700 students from Colombia and from all over the world, to talk about peace-building matters.

This great summoning of international personalities allowed us to create a very diverse academic agenda that opened the floor to reflections about topics such as peace and its relationship with the sustainable development goals established by the international community for 2030. With the knowledge and experience shared by the Nobel Peace Laureates and by our national experts, we were able to talk about inclusion, the environment, youth, technology, education, mining and their relationship with the construction of peace.

 

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