• date_range September 25, 26 and 27, 2018
  • location_on The Union League Club - New York, NY

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ECLAC Executive Secretary Highlights Main Challenges Faced by Latin America and the Caribbean

September 26, 2018

NEW YORKThe Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, considered that it is urgent to strengthen the confidence in international organizations which are called upon to create the proper environment so that the nations in the region – as well as in the rest of the world – are able to continue forward in their goals to reach development and prosperity.

Bárcena expressed her views during a keynote address delivered at the Global Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean which is being held in New York City since this past Tuesday with the support of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), its sister institution in the Dominican Republic, the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Funglode), headed by former Dominican President Leonel Fernández, and by IDEA Internacional; the Latin American Studies Institute/Columbia University, and the ECLAC.

In the two work sessions scheduled for Wednesday, Bárcena and other international economic and political experts discussed the economic situation of Latin America and the Caribbean and its relationship to the global context.  They also highlighted the principal challenges faced by the region in relation to economic growth.

“We are currently facing a highly volatile financial situation,” explained ECLAC’s Executive Secretary.  She also mentioned other important challenges faced by Latin American and the Caribbean such as the risk to sovereignty, the instability of the exchange rate, inflation, economic slowdown, foreign debt, tax evasion, and a drop in direct foreign investment.

Bárcena also highlighted the solid growth of the Dominican economy, which – she stated – leads the region in this particular area.  Once she concluded her keynote speech – titled “Economic Perspectives of Latin America and the Caribbean” – experts Daniel Titelman, Francisco Rodríguez and Humberto López commented on her remarks.  Panel moderator was Luis Manuel Piantini, former Dominican Ambassador to various international organizations.

The second session of the Forum concentrated on the “Panorama of the Global Economy,” a keynote address delivered by economist Dawn Holland.  The panel that commented the keynote address was headed by Mario Báez, economist of the United Nations, and integrated by Robert Wood and Adam Posen, both well-known international experts in their particular fields.

Natasha Despotovic, Executive Director of GFDD, also participated in Wednesday’s session.  In her presentation she highlighted the importance of the Global Forum and the contributions made by former President Fernández to strengthen the region’s political, social and economic growth.

Former President Fernández followed with an explanation of the Forum’s work methodology and thanked the supporting institutions that made possible the initiative.

During his presentation, the former Dominican President presented a brief summary of the political panorama of Latin America and the Caribbean, indicating that there is currently a tendency in the region, in political matters, to consolidate the democratic rights of nations.

Former President Fernández also briefly discussed the region’s political situation and recalled the 2008 financial crisis that has yet to be completely overcome.