On June 8th, a meeting with presidential candidates and political parties took place in Guatemala City within the framework of the 2023 electoral process. The event brought together presidential and vice-presidential candidates, as well as representatives from the majority of political parties competing in the upcoming election. They had the opportunity to engage in dialogues addressing the country’s main challenges, potential solutions, and opportunities to create a better Guatemala for all. This vision goes beyond the temporary nature of the 2023 General Elections, scheduled to take place on June 25th.
Leadership Beyond Elections is an effort to foster political debate, stimulate the exchange of ideas, and provide a space for the public to delve into the options presented by the candidates in their quest for a Guatemala with better conditions for everyone. The United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office in Guatemala, the Esquipulas Foundation, the Global Peace Foundation in Central America, and the Foundation for Eco-development and Conservation (FUNDAECO) joined forces to facilitate this platform for social transformation.
Distinguished attendees included Vinicio Cerezo, President of Guatemala from 1986 to 1991, Secretary-General of the Central American Integration System from 2017 to 2021, and President Emeritus of the Esquipulas Foundation. Also present were Miguel Barreto, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Guatemala, Olinda Salguero and Jorge Raúl Cruz, President and Vice-President of the Esquipulas Foundation, respectively. In addition, columnists, directors, media representatives, and other prominent figures attended the event.
“The policy should once again take center stage in finding solutions to the country’s main problems, with a strategic vision that extends beyond elections. That’s why we named this initiative ‘Leadership Beyond Elections’ because politics matters, and it is in your hands to build the Guatemala we long for. This goes beyond Elections,” emphasized Olinda Salguero, who also represents the Global Peace Foundation in Central America, as she opened the event.
Vinicio Cerezo cited his mentor, Mr. Arístides Calvani, stating, “Democracy must be established where it does not exist, consolidated where it has been established, and perfected where it has been consolidated.” He continued, “This is a task for all citizens committed to a better reality, especially for those of us who can dedicate more time and energy to causes that transcend us. That should be the role of all of you.”
Miguel Barreto spoke about the United Nations’ efforts to support substantive dialogues on development-related topics and foster strategic partnerships among state entities, civil society, the private sector, and public officials.
He also mentioned the strategic framework for sustainable development cooperation, the 2022 annual report of results, and the UN’s new peace agenda.
Within the framework of the 2023 Electoral Process, the Ecosystem is implementing several actions to strengthen the electoral process. These include the program “Presidenciables con Olinda Salguero” (Presidential Candidates with Olinda Salguero), which is broadcast on Facebook and YouTube. Additionally, there is the campaign “La Juventud está votando” (The Youth is Voting), promoting conscious and responsible voting, as well as various activities involving youth during the transition process.
The Esquipulas Foundation, the Global Peace Foundation, FUNDAECO, and the Latin American Presidential Mission continue to drive actions for peacebuilding in the Americas and around the world.
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