The Global Forum Comes to a Close with Moderate Optimism for the Immediate Future of Latin America and the Caribbean

The Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean 2019 ended this Friday with “cautious” and “moderate optimism” for the next decade in the region, as former heads of State and experts debated in the final panel, “Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean: current challenges.” Laura Chinchilla, former president of Costa Rica and vice-president of World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid; Kevin Casas Zamora, former second vice-president of Costa Rica and secretary general of International IDEA, and Humberto de la Calle, former vice-president of Colombia and former lead negotiator for the Colombian government for the peace talks with the FARC made up part of the panel. It also featured Jorge Castañeda, former minister of Foreign Relations of Mexico and distinguished professor of Politics and Latin American and Caribbean studies at NYU; Jorge Taiana, former minister of Foreign Relations of Argentina and general director of Centro Internacional de Estudios Políticos(CIEP), Universidad Nacional de San Martín andMaría Eugenia Mosquera, Historian, Latin America and Geopolitics Specialist; President and Founder of cultural TV channel VALETV.

New York – The Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean 2019 ended this Friday with “cautious” and “moderate optimism” for the next decade in the region, as former heads of State and experts debated in the final panel, “Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean: current challenges.” Laura Chinchilla, former president of Costa Rica and vice-president of World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid; Kevin Casas Zamora, former second vice-president of Costa Rica and secretary general of International IDEA, and Humberto de la Calle, former vice-president of Colombia and former lead negotiator for the Colombian government for the peace talks with the FARC made up part of the panel. It also featured Jorge Castañeda, former minister of Foreign Relations of Mexico and distinguished professor of Politics and Latin American and Caribbean studies at NYU; Jorge Taiana, former minister of Foreign Relations of Argentina and general director of Centro Internacional de Estudios Políticos(CIEP), Universidad Nacional de San Martín andMaría Eugenia Mosquera, Historian, Latin America and Geopolitics Specialist; President and Founder of cultural TV channel VALETV.

Daniel Zovatto, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at International IDEA and Natasha Despotovic, executive director of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD)served as moderators.

The panel, which closed out the two sessions of discussion and debate on the current situation in the region, aimed to identify main challenges for democracy and development over the next decade in Latin America.

The speakers pointed out the “trade war” between China and the United States, the uncertainty and the volatility in the world and fear of a global economic recession.

They also made reference to dissatisfaction with democracy and institutional weakness that exists in Latin America and the Caribbean, while they wondered what could be done so that the next decade would be a “winning decade.”

“In a certain sense, we’ve seen a series of elements that suggest a weakening of democratic institutions in Latin America,” said Laura Chinchilla, former president of Costa Rica and vice-president of the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid.

She made reference to elements such as judicial independence and indefinite re-election as well as the perception people have of democracy.

“The discontent toward democracy has grown and it requires us to reflect,” explained Chinchilla, who during the panel expressed “cautious optimism” about the future of the region.

Kevin Casas Zamora asked that we not forget “how much [the region] has advanced” because he believesthat “democracy in Latin American and the Caribbean have some results to show.”

“Levels of human development in the region have not stopped advancing and I suspect that two things, the capacity to develop democratic elections that function well and the increased level of human development, go hand-in-hand” added Casas Zamora.

Humberto de La Calle, former vice-president of Colombia, made reference to the “crisis of the liberal narrative.” “When it comes to the topic of representative democracy in Latin America we are losing sight of the fact that there is something more fundamental which is the crisis of the liberal narrative,” he explained.

“Representative democracy is an instrument of that narrative and what we see in the world is an increase in populism, autocracy, fake news, social media, bigotry, loss of the separation of powers,” he emphasized.

Jorge Castañeda, former minister of Foreign Relations of Mexico, emphasized the need to build “supranational institutions” in the hemisphere “with or without the United States and Canada” to take on questions that face every country such as climate change.

He considered that “in many aspects, if we are honest, we have to recognize that we cannot do it alone.”

The speakers also shared thoughts on “a new agenda for Latin America” that includes, alongside climate change, a way to address the “fourth industrial revolution,” automatization, artificial intelligence and the impact of social media on democracy.

Increase of Inequality

“We have democracy, we have a democratic pact, we have survived hyperinflation, military uprisings, military governments, but democracy is not in question. We have changes of government and alternation in the framework of processes recognized by one another,” highlighted Taiana.

Despite this, he expressed concern over the increase of inequality and asked to make reality the affirmation that former Argentine president Raúl Alfonsín made in1983 that “with democracy one eats, one heals, and one learns.”

Mosquera spoke about the situation in Venezuela and considered it key that the country “go through re-institutionalization” and insisted that it seek “a peaceful and democratic solution.”

“A dialogue or a negotiation on the conditions that we have had until now, even as a political instrument hasn’t worked up until now, but this doesn’t mean that it can’t function in the future when we have a negotiation, a dialogue with the appropriate and necessary elements to seek a peaceful solution, a democratic solution,” she added.

The Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean 2019 was organized by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).

The event also had the support of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean,World Leadership Alliance–Club de Madrid, the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University and the Central American Integration System.

About the panelists: https://www.globalforumlac.org/en/panelistas/
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The Public-Private Alliances Model as an Instrument for Development: The Final Goal is Community Wellbeing

The debate of the second session on Friday of the Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean focused on “Public-private partnerships for development,” with an exhaustive analysis on the financial model and a vision about how we must adapt to new times, as well as a change on the focus so that it is not only infrastructure projects that benefit from PPPs.

New York – The debate of the second session on Friday of the Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean focused on “Public-private partnerships for development,” with an exhaustive analysis on the financial model and a vision about how we must adapt to new times, as well as a change on the focus so that it is not only infrastructure projects that benefit from PPPs.

The panel, moderated by Ivan Rebolledo, Ivan Rebolledo, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, TerraNova Strategic Partners, LLC, featured Martin Chrisney, Senior Director, International Development Assistance Services (IDAS) Institute; José Manuel Vassallo, Professor, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and Laura Abreu Malla, Specialist on Educational Policies and Multisectorial Initiatives. The presentation was led Krishnan Sharma, Chief, Strategic Engagement Unit, Financing for Development Office, United Nations.

The Addis Abeba Action Agenda refers to the public-private alliances including “projects that involve joint financing, including public-private associations, they should share risks and reward fairly, entail clear mechanisms of responsibility and meet social and environmental standards.”

Sharma explained that in the developed economies, an average of two thirds of infrastructure is financed by the private sector and a third by the public sector, while the contrary tends to be true in developing countries. “The recent increase in the participation of the private sector in the financing of infrastructure, especially in electricity and telecommunications, is limited to middle-income countries. Private finances continue to make up just a small portion of the investment in total investment in the world of development.”

Objectives

From a public policy perspective, added the Chief of the Strategic Engagement Unit, Financing for Development Office at the United Nations,  the main goal of alliances between public and private sectors is that it should result in “an improvement in the quality and efficiency of services provided to the citizen.”

Sharma explained that results until now suggest that “PPPs are more appropriate for infrastructure projects like with transport and electricity. However, it’s less likely to generate benefits in the social sector, like with hospitals and schools.” Including in the most viable sectors, the efficiency of PPPs depends on the institutional capacity of countries to create them, manage them and evaluate them effectively, he said.

However, experts on the panel supported creating a new vision where PPPs can be used for social and educational investment as well.

In that sense, Martín Chrisney maintained that the biggest challenges for poverty in the world need collaboration from many groups. “We have to amplify the perspectives of PPPs. There are many other areas where we should, and we can apply this type of alliance.”

“The private sector is interested in getting involved in many social projects through PPPs, but we need better legislation and regulatory frameworks,” he continued. Chrisney, also asked: “If the need is so great, why can’t it happen? What is taking place is that there is a huge lack of confidence between the involved parties. There is a big gap; corruption has eroded that relationship… and we’ve got to take small steps to consolidate the model.”

Furthermore, professor José Manuel Vasallo emphasized that “this model is basically an instrument, the final goal is community wellbeing. It is important to avoid saying that if the project fails it is the fault of the PPP, something that has been observed in many studies; there are many implicated factors.”

Furthermore, the UPM professor added that the model is useful “but we have to improve constantly; we should move to a more flexible model, through instruments that allow for including variations in original contracts, for example.”

Laura Abreu Malla defended the possibility that this model be applied to other sectors outside of infrastructure. “I am wondering if we could change the focus, for example, to education and social projects. They would require more evaluations, yes; but it would generate culture, change, in the long term.”

Abreu made reference to the best-known case of the Dominican Republic. “The achievement of the educational revolution in the Dominican Republic is the result of a multisectoral effort. It’s based on multisectoral goals and work, for example; the path for more alliances exists.”

 

View Presentation
Panel 5: Public-private partnerships for development
Autor: Krishnan Sharma, Chief, Strategic Engagement Unit, Financing for Development Office, United Nations

 

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Gerardo de Icaza: “We must emphasize that not only votes be counted well, but that the willpower of voters be respected too”

The Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean started its first session on Friday with a debate about the super election cycle in Latin America, as well as the health of democracies in the region and the polarization that is taking place within them. With just a few months left of the super election cycle, in which 15 of the 18 countries in the region will have held presidential elections in a period of just 36 months, political experts signaled that the fundamental challenge is responding to citizen demands and general dissatisfaction and learning to govern in contexts of great uncertainty and complexity.

The fourth panel takes place at the Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean with the topic “the super election cycle in Latin America in 2019”

New York – The Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean started its first session on Friday with a debate about the super election cycle in Latin America, as well as the health of democracies in the region and the polarization that is taking place within them. With just a few months left of the super election cycle, in which 15 of the 18 countries in the region will have held presidential elections in a period of just 36 months, political experts signaled that the fundamental challenge is responding to citizen demands and general dissatisfaction and learning to govern in contexts of great uncertainty and complexity.

The presentation was led by Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, International IDEA and featured a panel with María Victoria Murillo, María Victoria Murillo, Director, Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS), Professor of Political Sciences and International Affairs, Columbia University; Gerardo de Icaza, Director, Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation, Secretariat for Strengthening Democracy, Organization of American States (OAS); Alejandra Sota, General Director, Integra Metas Estratégicas and Jorge Taiana, Former Minister of Foreign Relations of Argentina; General Director, Centro Internacional de Estudios Políticos (CIEP), Universidad Nacional de San Martín.

The debate was moderated by Laura Flores, director of Americas Division, Department of Political Affairs at the United Nations.

Gerardo de Icaza asked the following question: “In these elections actually, with certain exceptions, we’ve had better and more elections. If that is the case, then why is there dissatisfaction showing up every minute of every hour on twitter? I think we’ve put way too many expectations and too much pressure on these elections. And we’ve forgotten about other significant elements of democracy that are now having a direct impact in this context.”

In that sense, the Director of the Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation of the Secretariat for Strengthening Democracy at the OAS emphasized human rights: “Not only has the number of human rights complaints gone up, but the number of complaints to the Inter-American Commission has as well. This suggests that people do not believe that their political rights are being protected at the national level.”

He also mentioned the separation of power and said that there is a problem with the balance of power in congress and the judiciary, as well as in electoral processes. “And election rules that are changed during the election process or shortly beforehand. And this change of rules creates quite a bit of uncertainty for the Rule of Law.” De Icaza made reference to what he called fake pluralism. “There are two kinds of parties: taxi parties, which don’t really exist, but that include a famous figure to get into power but struggles when it actually gets to governing. And the briefcase party: a briefcase of money from the government.”

In this context, the people have shown that they feel betrayed. It instills a feeling of betrayal in their vote. We must emphasize that not only should votes be counted well, but that the willpower of voters be respected too.”

Public discontent

María Victoria Murillo mentioned that “we are not facing a new cycle of law as suggested, but we are dealing with public discontent. Sometimes change is requested, and sometimes the public says, ‘I’m tired with the political system’.”

Furthermore, she emphasized that “the vote of anger,” which is how Zavatto characterized it, is also due to social discontent with corruption scandals in the region.

Regarding Argentina, Jorge Taiana said that “you can’t make a political analysis without considering the economic situation, which is a catastrophe. In one and a half years, we’ve amassed more credit than ever before in the history of the Monetary Fund. We have an interest rate of 81%, the dollar’s value has tripled in less than a year and 49% of children are poor.”

Meanwhile Alejandra Sota said that “We have more and more elections that are very polarized and that have very close outcomes. This demonstrates all that is left of the election reforms of the 90s.”

Sota also highlighted the importance of developing leaders in Latin America through democratic processes. “I think that we have to focus on institutions and universities to develop leaders that are committed to the defense of democracy.”

View Presentation
Panel 4: Latin America’s 2019 Super Election Cycle
Author: Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, International IDEA

 

About the panelists: https://www.globalforumlac.org/en/panelistas/
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“Elections of Anger”: Daniel Zovatto Highlights the Volatile and Defiant Context of Latin America’s Political Reconfiguration

With just a few months left of the super election cycle, in which 15 of the 18 countries in the region will have held presidential elections in a period of just 36 months, Daniel Zovatto’s presentation responds to the vital need to check Latin America’s pulse. In the fourth panel of the Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean, which is taking place right now in New York City, the Regional Director at International IDEA highlighted the region’s anemic economic growth, complicated indicators of political culture that suggests a significant democratic fatigue and the growing polarization that is keeping the continent in doubt.

The regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at International IDEA analyzes the main trends of the super election cycle in the fourth panel at the Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean

New York – With just a few months left of the super election cycle, in which 15 of the 18 countries in the region will have held presidential elections in a period of just 36 months, Daniel Zovatto’s presentation responds to the vital need to check Latin America’s pulse. In the fourth panel of the Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean, which is taking place right now in New York City, the Regional Director at International IDEA highlighted the region’s anemic economic growth, complicated indicators of political culture that suggests a significant democratic fatigue and the growing polarization that is keeping the continent in doubt.

In addition to the heterogeneity of national contexts, which reflects the region’s complexity in Zovatto’s analysis, the renowned political scientist and lawyer identified key trends for the super cycle that must be at the center of dialogue and policymaking that seek to confront the challenges facing Latin America. The twelve elections that have taken place are characterized by the presenter as “elections of anger” where almost all electoral processes featured high levels of citizen discontent with politics and government.

The vote in the majority of countries punished the status quo, including in the three main economies: Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, he said. “The people’s anger towards the establishment combined with complications of the new digital era including the normalization of lies and disinformation in election campaigns, intensified already-high levels of polarization,” highlighted the expert. Zovatto stressed, additionally, that the impact that social media played presents an urgent challenge in regulatory terms as well as in the zone of control that election authorities must handle.

The presenter also reflected upon the low levels of credibility and legitimacy, the weakness of institutions, the prevalence of minority governments that do not have large enough alliances to pass reforms, which complicates governance and the significant setback in terms of the balance of gender at the presidential level.

With only elections left in Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia during the next months to close out the super election cycle of anger, the Regional Director of International IDEA emphasized that new governments need to focus their energy on recovering citizen confidence, learning to govern in a context of high uncertainty and to produce concrete results that respond to people’s high expectations and demands. That way we can start to calm frustration that has triggered the decline of popular support and the separation between politics and the people, which at the same time is making the region more polarized.

View Presentation
Panel 4: Latin America’s 2019 Super Election Cycle
Author: Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, International IDEA

 

About the panelists: https://www.globalforumlac.org/en/panelistas/
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Paola González: “police forces are not, nor should they be the only ones responsible for security in our countries. They are the visible face for good and for bad and that entails more challenges.”

The session’s third panel featured the topic of public order and security as the focus of debate. Liliana Mesías García, Doctor in Government and Public Policy; and Paola González, Political Scientist, Co-authors of the IDB/Inter-American Dialogue Report (2018): “Police Transformation in Latin America for 2030” presented before the public to start the debate. They were accompanied by a panel with Maria Haberfeld, Director, NYPD Police Studies Program; Coordinator, Law Enforcement Leadership On-Line Certificate and Professor of Police Science, Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; and Karelia Villa Mar, Senior Specialist, State Modernization; Cluster Lead, Citizen Security and Justice, Interamerican Development Bank (IDB).

The panel “Challenges of public order and security in contemporary democracies” closes the first session of the Global Forum

New York – The session’s third panel featured the topic of public order and security as the focus of debate. Liliana Mesías García, Doctor in Government and Public Policy; and Paola González, Political Scientist, Co-authors of the IDB/Inter-American Dialogue Report (2018): “Police Transformation in Latin America for 2030” presented before the public to start the debate. They were accompanied by a panel with Maria Haberfeld, Director, NYPD Police Studies Program; Coordinator, Law Enforcement Leadership On-Line Certificate and Professor of Police Science, Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; and Karelia Villa Mar, Senior Specialist, State Modernization; Cluster Lead, Citizen Security and Justice, Interamerican Development Bank (IDB).

The role of moderator was held by Roberto Obando Prestol, Programs Director, Chief of Party, Citizen Security and Justice, Pan-American Development Foundation (PADF).

Paola González began her presentation with the premise that “police forces are not, nor should they be the only ones responsible for security in our countries. They are the visible face for good and for bad and this entails more challenges.”

In general, she emphasized that security policies must be more effective but more democratic as well in the contemporary world.

“Obedience and discipline remain the principle focus for police training, not integration and coordination with other entities,” she continued.

González explained that the police forces in Latin America have these characteristics: they are heterogenous in their structure; they are vertical and bureaucratic institutions; the majority use more control rather than prevention and they are characterized by establishing distance from the citizen.

Many experts and studies point out the need to increase personnel within the police forces, but, according to González, “without reform, without confidence in the institution, without improving training, the situation will not easily improve.”

Very low citizen perception of confidence  

The political scientist and consultant at IDB said: “We view with worry the following data point: only 35% of the population in Latin America trust the police.” In that sense, she explained that the countries that have the least confidence in state police institutions are Mexico, with 19%, Nicaragua 21% and El Salvador, 22%. The countries that have the most trust are Uruguay with 59%, Costa Rica with 51% and Chile with 48%. (Latinobarómetro 2018)

For her part, the co-author of the report “Police Transformation in Latin America for 2030,” Liliana Mesías listed dilemmas in the field and where they are headed.

Civility vs. Militarization for interior security. “although there are advances coming from the democratic consolidation in Latin America, there is the persistence of a militarized vision of security, hierarchy, that gives priority to control over the prevention and non-involvement of the community. Furthermore, high crime and organized crime put pressure against civilian spaces.”

Professionalization of the police force. “There is a necessity to establish a better recruited police force, created and formed with clear paths towards professionalism.”

Introduction of transparency and accountability practices. “High levels of corruption persist. It is urgent to create control and internal and external accountability mechanisms.”

Adoption of technology and information systems. “This is indispensable in the fight against crime, especially for new forms of crime, but technology is not an end in itself. The most complicated aspect is to adapt technology to the context and at the regional level the conditions do not exist for this adaptation. This creates many expectations that are not met. It’s necessary to evaluate!

Consolidation of the community’s relationship with the police. On this topic they mentioned the prevention of crime through closer relations between the police and the community, improving mutual trust between them, the reorientation of patrolling, the decentralization of authority towards small territorial units, the establishment of mechanisms of periodic interaction between police and the community. “the decentralization of decision-making: far from the reality of current times.”

For her part, María Haberfeld highlighted that the police have the same challenges as all of the world, they are not just in Latin America. “We have had the same challenges for many years in all the countries. It’s about integrity.”

The director of the NYPD Police Studies Program emphasized that “democracy is difficult without a legitimate and effective police force, and without corruption.” She also said that a change is needed on police, regarding how citizens view the profession. “How we see the police is a global problem.”

Haberfeld emphasized the need for good training, as did the rest of the panelists. “It’s not about numbers, but about the type of police that we have. Respect comes from professionalism.”

Meanwhile, Karelia Villa wanted to make it clear that “the topic of security is a matter of development. You cannot have development if there is not rule of law and security in our countries.”

In terms of education and training she said that “the police in the region are very different, as well as the quality of their training. We see training as a common denominator. The training curriculums in the region are very disparate, as is quality.”

View Presentation
Panel 3: Challenges of public order and security in contemporary democracies
Author: Kevin Casas, Paola Gonzälez Cepero & Liliana Mesías

 

About the panelists: https://www.globalforumlac.org/en/panelistas/
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Experts Analyze the Impact of a Possible Global Recession on Latin America and the Caribbean

The uncertainty and fear that a potential global recession could affect Latin America was at the center of debate in the second panel at the Global Forum Latin America and Caribbean, taking place in New York City and featuring 40 experts on public policy, international relations and economics, including several former heads of State.

New York – The uncertainty and fear that a potential global recession could affect Latin America was at the center of debate in the second panel at the Global Forum Latin America and Caribbean, taking place in New York City and featuring 40 experts on public policy, international relations and economics, including several former heads of State.

Following the first session, which focused on socioeconomic trends and perspectives for the world and the fear that exists regarding trade tensions between the United States and China, the second centered on the impact of those trends in Latin America.

“The region is slowing down, we hope for only 0.5 percent growth, which is very low,” said Daniel Titelman, director for the Economic Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), who headed the presentation for the panel.

“In social terms, many of the achievements that have been accomplished in improving the distribution of income, poverty reduction, unfortunately have been coming to a standstill. Thus, one of the challenges is how to maintain these achievements,” he added.

Although ECLAC estimates that in 2018 poverty decreased slightly, extreme poverty has remained unchanged, according to what Titelman revealed in his presentation.

“Trade is slowing, it slowed in 2018, it contracted in 2019 which is reflected in the decelerating growth of economies,” explained Paolo Giordano, economist at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

For Giordano, the keys for the region are diversification of production and of markets.

Also participating in the panel on socioeconomic perspectives for Latin America was Otaviano Canuto, economist from the Center for Macroeconomics and Development, Gonzalo Paz, researcher from Georgetown University and Francisco Sánchez, former Under Secretary of Commerce of the United States.

The event is organized by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Funglode) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) with the support of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, World Leadership Alliance–Club de Madrid, the Institute of Latin American Studies of Columbia University and the Central American Integration System.

View Presentation
Panel 2: Socioeconomic Perspectives for Latin America
Autor: Daniel Titelman, Director, Economic Development Division, United Nations Economic
Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

 

About the panelists: https://www.globalforumlac.org/en/panelistas/
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Socioeconomic Global Trends: Crisis or the Need for Change

The first panel of the second Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean, “Socioeconomic Global Trends” began this morning with a group of experts led by the former president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, and the former president of Slovenia, Danilo Turk, alongside Ingo Pitterle, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Global Economic Monitoring Branch, Economic Analysis and Policy Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (UN DESA); Director, R.A. Feliz & Asociados; Professor at Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) and Rob Wood, Principal Economist, Manager, Country Risk Service, Latin America and the Caribbean, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Massimo Tommasoli, Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the United Nations served as the moderator.

Panel sessions begin at the Global Forum Latin America and Caribbean with the participation of the former president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, and the former president of Slovenia, Danilo Turk, among other experts

New York – The first panel of the second Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean, “Socioeconomic Global Trends” began this morning with a group of experts led by the former president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, and the former president of Slovenia, Danilo Turk, alongside Ingo Pitterle, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Global Economic Monitoring Branch, Economic Analysis and Policy Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (UN DESA); Director, R.A. Feliz & Asociados; Professor at Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) and Rob Wood, Principal Economist, Manager, Country Risk Service, Latin America and the Caribbean, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Massimo Tommasoli, Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the United Nations served as the moderator.

The forecast for global growth “has darkened,” according Ingo Pitterle, analyst from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations. Pitterle presented what he considered a “pessimistic situation,” at the international level, characterized by polarization and great macroeconomic inequality. “Demand has gone down, which affects production and investment… Policymakers are in a very challenging situation. Many of the current macroeconomic indicators do not stimulate investment. It is quite a complicated situation,” he added.

Among the risks listed by the Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Global Economic Monitoring Branch, Economic Analysis and Policy Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (UN DESA) include the accelerated effects of climate change, the deterioration of financial conditions and the increase in trade tensions between countries.

In that vein, the former Mexican president Felipe Calderón, made reference to the potential impact to global production that the trade war between China and United States, a conflict that he defined as “the main enemy” for international economic growth and the “potential trigger” for a recession.

The fear and uncertainty that a potential global recession provokes, years following expansion, dominated the debate in the first panel, which focused on global trends. The panelists also debate the role of countries’ central banks, which can meet the feasibility of carrying out fiscal expansion, accordingly, expressed Raúl Feliz, Professor at Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE). “The big question is: in the tenth year of expansion, central banks have still not been able to generate positive interest rates and primary balances. How can we make do in the context of negative rates? Are the financial rules and institutions appropriate? Banks have made it impossible with a wide range of mechanisms and it’s still impossible to maintain growth. Are we not in a moment of fiscal expansion? And if we are, what type of fiscal expansion?” asked Feliz.

Meanwhile, one of the problems that the former president of Slovenia Danilo Turk stressed was inequality: “We must search for the way to address the question of income inequality,” he maintained. “While the economic Outlook is not hopeful, we cannot forget the importance of social development. We need to confront inequalities,” he continued.

In regard to one of the most debated topics, the trade war between China and the United States, the former president of Slovenia and the member of the Club de Madrid said: “We cannot treat it like a natural disaster. It took place because the US president wanted a war, because, for him, these wars are easy to win. On this topic we have to have a basic level of moral clarity. To say that China is a financial or technology manipulator is a form of cultivating warm but not based on good reasons.”

In the panel, moderated by Massimo Tommasoli, Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the United Nations, was also Rob Wood, Principal Economist, at the Economist Intelligence Unit. For Wood, some countries in Latin America “are going to search for help for global development” due to the limited capacity that they have had for their own growth in recent years.

The forum, which is taking place at the Union League Club in New York City, coincides with the General Assembly of the United Nations. It will continue with a panel featuring economists and experts in economic development who will debate the debate perspectives for Latin America. The panel is about challenges for public order and security in contemporary democracies.

This initiative is organized by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Funglode) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) with the support of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbeam, World Leadership Alliance–Club de Madrid, the Institute of Latin American Studies of Columbia University and the Central Amreican Integration System.

Presentations:

Panel 1: Socioeconomic Global Trends
Author: Ingo Pitterle
Ver Presentación (.PDF)

Panel 1: Socioeconomic Global Trends
Author: Felipe Calderón
Ver Presentación (.PDF)

 

About the panelists: https://www.globalforumlac.org/en/panelistas/
More information about the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development.

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Leonel Fernández: “the Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean is the ideal conclave for the exchange of thoughts and the urgent search for effective solutions for the region.”

The former president of the Dominican Republic and the president of GFDD/Funglode, Dr. Leonel Fernández, gave opening remarks this morning – through a videoconference- to participants at the II Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean which is taking place today and tomorrow in New York City. “Latin America and the Caribbean have been and will continue to be the scene of great social and political struggles; crises and economic opportunities; innovations and unfinished tasks of the past. The pace of the 21st century has accelerated these challenges; global interconnection and interdependence have created more complexity while the rapidity of change has raised expectations,” said Fernández.

The former president of the Dominican Republic and president of GFDD/Funglode gave welcoming remarks at the Second Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean which takes place today and tomorrow in New York City

The former president of the Dominican Republic and the president of GFDD/Funglode, Dr. Leonel Fernández, gave opening remarks this morning – through a videoconference- to participants at the II Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean which is taking place today and tomorrow in New York City. “Latin America and the Caribbean have been and will continue to be the scene of great social and political struggles; crises and economic opportunities; innovations and unfinished tasks of the past. The pace of the 21st century has accelerated these challenges; global interconnection and interdependence have created more complexity while the rapidity of change has raised expectations,” said Fernández.

“Our understanding of reality must adequately grow in depth and scope; the need for collaboration and exchange of ideas and experiences is ever greater, and the search for effective solutions is more urgent. We trust that the Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean 2019 is the ideal conclave for a reflection and exchange of this type, with highly skilled protagonists and committed audience members, at the time of the year and in the place in the world where the future of our international community is being defined,” he continued.

Dr. Fernández expressed gratitude for the participation of colleagues and friends like Laura Chinchilla, former president of Costa Rica and vice president of the WorldLeadership Alliance – Club de Madrid; Vinicio Cerezo, former president of Guatemala and general secretary of SICA; Felipe Calderón, former president of México and Danilo Turk, former president of Slovenia. He also thanked Kevin Casas Zamora, former second vice-president of Costa Rica and secretary general of International IDEA; Humberto de la Calle, former vice president of Colombia; Jorge Taiana, former minister of Foreign Relations of Argentina and Jorge Castañeda, former minister of Foreign Relations of Mexico.

“In addition to these great statesmen and leaders of international relevance, numerous researchers, academics, members of highly reputable think tanks and multilateral institutions will honor us with their valuable knowledge, analyses, and recommendations,” he stated.

The former Dominican leader also gave special thanks to the institutions that have brought “great effort, dedication and enthusiasm to organize this great event together with the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Funglode) and the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD): our friends at IDEA International – Mr. Kevin Casas Zamora, Secretary General; Daniel Zovatto, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Massimo Tommasoli, Permanent Observer to the UN;  ECLAC, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, whose partnership was led by Mrs. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary and Mr. Daniel Titelman, Director of the Economic Development Division; ILAS – Institute for Latin America and Caribbean Studies and its director Mrs. María Victoria Murillo; World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid and its Secretary General María Elena Agüero, as well as SICA, Central American Integration System, represented by Mr. Vinicio Cerezo, Secretary General and Mrs. Olinda Salguero, Chief of Staff.”

“We are delighted and proud to join forces with so many prestigious institutions of long and impressive trajectories,” he emphasized. “I am completely convinced that the Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean 2019 will be a total success and that its purpose of promoting the exchange of ideas, experiences, good practices and proposals for solutions, allowing us to face present and future challenges in a more knowledgeable and coordinated manner,  will be thoroughly fulfilled.”.

“When a couple of years ago we started to develop this idea of ​​a forum that would unite the brightest minds and the most committed actors in the arena of the socio-economic and democratic development of our Region, which would take place concomitantly with the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, we could not imagine that we would bring together the partners of today’s magnitude and the panelists of such a repute that we will have the privilege of listening to in the days that follow,” concluded the statesman.

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Two Days to Take on Latin America and the Caribbean’s Most Pressing Challenges

This week New York–one of the most difficult cities to drive a car or walk around in—hosted some of the most important political and social events of the year within the framework of the UN General Assembly. It was also the site of the II Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean. In her opening remarks to kick off the event, Natasha Despotovic, executive director for the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development described the Global Forum as two days “to take on Latin America and the Caribbean’s most pressing challenges.”

This week New York–one of the most difficult cities to drive a car or walk around in—hosted some of the most important political and social events of the year within the framework of the UN General Assembly. It was also the site of the II Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean. In her opening remarks to kick off the event, Natasha Despotovic, executive director for the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development described the Global Forum as two days “to take on Latin America and the Caribbean’s most pressing challenges.”

The Global Forum brings together Latin America and the Caribbean’s most important sociopolitical and academic leaders: a total of 40 international experts, among them heads of State, former ministers, high representatives from regional and international institutions and members of prestigious think-tanks and academic institutions, who will discuss and develop proposals that contribute to a region with equality.

“Is democracy in crisis? Are we approaching a recession? What have we learned from recent political crises?” are among the questions that panelists will attempt to answer to develop greater understanding of the challenges that the region faces, said Despotovic.

Kevin Casas Zamora, former vice-president of Costa Rica and general secretary of International IDEA, the co-organizing institution alongside GFDD/Funglode pointed out that “the last generation’s great achievement for Latin America, which was developing imperfect but real democratic systems, is fading away.”

“Now is the time that we start to ask ourselves how we want the following decade to be,” maintained Casas Zamora.

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The II Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean Gets Underway with a Packed Opening Ceremony

The II Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean was kicked off yesterday with a reception of guests and cocktail event that brought together international experts and former heads of State who will debate the trends and social, political and economic challenges in the region today and tomorrow in New York City. “The purpose of the event is to bring together thinkers, researchers and people that are important actors in the socioeconomic and democratic development of the Western Hemisphere to debate highly important topics, to search for solutions and share experiences,” saidNatasha Despotovic, executive director of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), the event’s organizing institution alongside International IDEA. The event also receives help from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), World Leadership Alliance–Club de Madrid, the Institutoe of Latin American Studies of Columbia University (ILAS) and the Central American Integration System (SICA).

GFDD’s director, Natasha Despotovic, and the General Secretary of International IDEA, Kevin Casas Zamora, welcome statesmen and experts who will debate the future of the Americas for two days in New York

New York – The II Global Forum Latin America and the Caribbean was kicked off yesterday with a reception of guests and cocktail event that brought together international experts and former heads of State who will debate the trends and social, political and economic challenges in the region today and tomorrow in New York City. “The purpose of the event is to bring together thinkers, researchers and people that are important actors in the socioeconomic and democratic development of the Western Hemisphere to debate highly important topics, to search for solutions and share experiences,” saidNatasha Despotovic, executive director of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), the event’s organizing institution alongside International IDEA. The event also receives help from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), World Leadership Alliance–Club de Madrid, the Institutoe of Latin American Studies of Columbia University (ILAS) and the Central American Integration System (SICA).

The executive director of GFDD acknowledged the presence of representatives from the organizing and collaborating institutions as well as that of experts and friends that always support the institution’s initiatives.

“We know that we are going to touch upon many extremely pressing and interesting topics. Democracy is in crisis. We are entering an economic cycle where the economy is headed downward. There will be a recession. We have to reassess democracies,” addedDespotovic.

Reflection on the Quality of Democracies

For his part, Kevin Casas Zamora, former second vice-president of Costa Rica and the secretary general of International IDEA said that “it is very important to reflect, particularly in Latin America, on the quality of democracies.”

“It is a good moment to take an inventory of where we are and where we want to go,” he maintained.

For Daniel Zovatto, International IDEA’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, the main objective of the forum is “to be able to take the pulse of what is happening in the region.”

According to Zovatto, the forum takes place during a “very opportune” moment since it comes at the end of a decade that “was supposed to be Latin America’s decade.”

Additionally, it coincides “with 40 years of the third wave of democracy,” something that for Zovatto “is a good moment to make an assessment” on the state of democracy in the region.

In that sense, public-private alliances, challenges of public order and security in contemporary democracies, as well as the “electoral super cycle in Latin America in 2019,” are some of the topics thatwill be covered in the panels during the two days.

The forum also will debate in which direction global socioeconomic trends are headed and what are the perspectives for Latin America.

Meanwhile, Jorge Taiana, former minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina and one of the participants in the forum, also mentioned that it is “a good moment” for these debates.

“There are changes in the value for democracy and then to speak about the reality, to share our thoughts, to identify difficulties and think about the future to try to have a future with democracy, liberty and justice,” he said.

For her part, María Elena Agüero, general secretary of the Club de Madrid, an organization that unites former heads of State and government, highlighted that “topics will be covered that deal with democracy and the development of Latin America” and the “difficult juncture.” “Today we have to devote ourselves to defending democracy, to defending and preserving it,” she mentioned.

Among the statesmen included in the Forum’s program that will begin today are former presidents Felipe Calderón of Mexico; Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica; Vinicio Cerezo of Guatemala and Danilo Turk of Slovenia, as well as the former vice president of Colombia, Humberto de la Calle. Furthermore, forming part of one of the six panels that will be held Thursday the 26th and Friday the 27th are  Kevin Casas Zamora, the former second vice-president of Costa Rica and secretary general of International IDEA; Jorge Taiana, the former minister of Foreign Relations of Argentina, and Jorge Castañeda, former minister of Foreign Affairs from Mexico, among many others.

About the panelists: https://www.globalforumlac.org/en/panelistas/
More information about the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development.

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