President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia is Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

4 November, 2016

The MPPN congratulates President Juan Manuel Santos for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today, 7 October 2016. President Santos is a figure who has been taking the lead not only on peace but also on reducing poverty in all its dimensions. This is a key to a lasting peace, and a just peace.  We wish President Santos and the people of Colombia the very best in the road ahead.


In 2013, at Oxford, President Santos with Professor Amartya Sen launched the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN) – this South-South network of countries developing, using, or exploring multidimensional poverty measures to energise the fight against poverty using the Alkire Foster methodology developed at OPHI.

Photo credit: Zach Damberger

In June 2015, President Santos and his government hosted the MPPN meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, showcasing Colombia’s leadership in using their national multidimensional poverty index (MPI) to coordinate and deliver accelerated poverty reduction in accordance with ambitious targets set in their national plan. Colombia’s ministers and cabinet shared how a round table led by President Santos had provide a way for them to learn from each other about interlinkages among their sectoral responsibilities, how collaboration increased efficiency.

On 22 September 2016, the Government of South Africa hosted a Side Event at the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of the MPPN. President Santos’ speech emphasised: “We have been leaders in the implementation of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) because we understand that poverty is an issue that goes beyond simple income and the index contributes to our aim of achieving a more just and equitable society. It has also allowed us to better organize our public policy and prioritize the most vulnerable.”

President Santos also stressed how reducing poverty in all its dimensions is vital to a stable peace: “The challenge before us to build a stable and lasting peace goes hand in hand with the goal of overcoming poverty and recommitting to building a new country with a better future for our children, who no longer will be part of the conflict, but instead will be in their schools, in their homes.” His speech was delivered by Tatyana Orozco, Director of the Department of Social Prosperity, as he had to return to Colombia in the days leading to the signing of the final peace accord.

The MPPN takes this opportunity also to congratulate Tatyana Orozco, Director of the Department of Social Prosperity and member of the MPPN Steering Committee for her dedicated leadership in supporting the peace effort in Colombia and her active participation through the Network to eradicate poverty.

Amartya Sen appeals to us not to become ‘coolly accustomed’ to poverty and destitution, but rather to turn with determination to redress these. President Santos has been a voice for the poor and we salute him.

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