AP NEWS

Ex-Colombia president: Empathy most important for leadership

May 29, 2019

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told graduates of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government that the most important value they can have as leaders is empathy.

The Nobel Peace laureate graduated from the school in 1981. He told the Class of 2019 on Wednesday that empathy is what helped him end his nation’s 50-year conflict with the guerrilla group known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

He said the best way to end conflict in the world is through “negotiation and reconciliation,” not endless cycles of killing.

He also warned the graduates that their top priority as future world leaders should be protecting the planet from climate change. He called those who deny climate change “stupid, selfish and suicidal.”

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