News Article

International IDEA strengthens ties with Colombia 


Stockholm, Sweden – International IDEA Secretary-General, Yves Leterme, was on a working visit to Bogotá on 23-26 August. Accompanied by International IDEA Latin America and the Caribbean Director, Mr Daniel Zovatto, the Secretary-General attended the Club de Madrid New Generation Democracy Forum for the Americas and met with key officials from Colombia.

During his four-day visit, Mr Leterme also met with Minister of Interior Juan Fernando Cristo Bustos to discuss IDEA’s continued work in Colombia, building on the Memorandum of Understanding which Minister Cristo Bustos signed with International IDEA in February 2015 as well as to further strengthen ties. The MoU provides a clear framework for cooperation in the area of political and electoral reform with a special focus on transparency and efficiency, on knowledge exchange and on the topics of fair elections and gender equality.

“I am convinced that an enhanced cooperation between International IDEA and the Colombian authorities will not only meaningfully contribute to the recent democratic process in the country, but it will also benefit the peace process.”

At the Club de Madrid Forum, Mr Leterme, former Prime Minister of Belgium, highlighted the importance of consolidating democracy in times of the economic decline currently facing Latin America. He also emphasized the need for traditional political party structures to adapt to the new media climate and the need for politicians and political parties to rebuild the trust among the electorate by combating corruption and bad governance.