Good governance is essential to create ethical, prosperous, cohesive societies. Those in positions of authority honor the public’s trust by carrying out their duties with integrity, transparency, and fairness to ensure the overall welfare of society. Good governance reflects a mandate that public officials and government bodies entrusted with decision making place the interests and welfare of the citizenry before any private or partisan interest. Abuse of the trust of public office not only diverts essential resources from urgent infrastructure needs and human services, but it undermines the social fabric and weakens incentives for investment and economic development. Political corruption is among the most damaging and corrosive causes of poverty, underdevelopment and civil upheaval. The Global Peace Foundation’s Good Governance Award recognizes an outstanding leader who exemplifies the spirit of moral and innovative leadership, and advances human welfare through executive, legislative and economic initiatives.
H.E. Nicolás Ardito Barletta served as President of Panama from 1984 to 1985, the first democratically elected president after 16 years of military rule. During his presidency he emphasized the reestablishment of democracy, moral and innovative economic development, and transparent and efficient government. The former president has had a distinguished career holding many prestigious positions, including Vice President of the World Bank for Latin America and the Caribbean, Minister of Planning and Economic Policy, co-founder of the Panamanian Banking Center, founder of the Latin American Export Bank, CEO of the Interoceanic Region Authority, Minister of Finance and Treasury, and Director of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Organization of American States. In 2012 President Ardito joined nine other former heads of state for the launching of the Latin American Presidential Mission during the GPF’s annual Convention in Atlanta, USA. The gathering addressed key issues related to greater cooperation and integration between the Americas.