Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s former president, is one of four Nobel prize winners, 30 international organisation leaders, and 4,000 high-profile officials, who will be taking part in the seventh world government summit in Dubai from Friday 8th February to Tuesday 12th February.
Santos was born in Bogota, 10th August 1954, into a leading political family. His uncle, Eduardo Santos Montejo, was Colombia’s president from 1938 to 1942, and his cousin, Francisco Santos Calderón, served as vice president from 2002 to 2010.
The family also founded one of the country’s largest daily newspapers, El Tiempo.
Santos graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in economics and business administration in 1973, he then moved to Harvard where he earned his master’s degree in public administration in 1981, before returning to Colombia to work as an editor on his family’s newspaper.
By the age of 37, he was Colombia’s minister of foreign trade, and shortly after that he was appointed as the president of the eighth United Nations conference on trade and development.
In 2002, he was selected as a minister of finance and public credit.
He established the Social Party of National Unity in 2005, and supported Colombia’s then President, Alvaro Uribe, and he became defense minister in 2006.
In 2009, Santos resigned his cabinet post to run for the presidency, and became the 32nd president of Colombia on August 7th, 2010.
Santos’s administration succeeded in bringing the Marxist-Leninist guerrilla movement, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which had been mounting terrorist attacks since 1964, to the bargaining table in Oslo in 2012. Through this, Santos was able to win a second term of the presidency in 2014
He won the Nobel peace prize for his efforts to bring the country's over 50-year-long civil war to an end in 2016, after signing a controversial final peace agreement with FARC .
Finally, the long conflict came to an end on August 15, 2017, when FARC relinquished the last of its accessible weapons to UN representatives.