Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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Date: July 6, 2022 4:16 am

Europe and Latin America must strengthen their “strategic rapprochement,” defended Andrés Allamand, Secretary General of the Ibero-American Countries (SEGIB), in a debate about transatlantic relations in an uncertain context marked by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, a supply crisis and China’s growing weight in Latin America. Participants in the annual conference of the Latin American Development Bank CAF, held this Thursday at the headquarters of the Casa de America in Madrid, agreed to point to a strong alliance between both regions as one of the keys to solving these problems in an international environment marked by “the struggle between democracies and tyrannies “, according to José Juan Ruiz, president of the Royal Institute of Elcano.

In the opening discussion, Allemand considered it “particularly important” in the context of the war in Ukraine that Latin America could meet “Europe’s needs for energy, food and raw materials, which it has in abundance.” And he recalled that none of the 22 Ibero-American countries opposed the vote in the UN General Assembly on March 2 of a text condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Eighteen supported it and only four (Bolivia, Cuba, El Salvador and Nicaragua) abstained. “This political coincidence should be taken care of,” he added, before emphasizing that “there is a strategic convergence between both regions” and that Latin American and Caribbean countries and Europeans make up a third of the membership of the United Nations. . They also account for 25% of global GDP and almost half of the G-20 members.

“The West will not win the war against tyranny without allies,” Ruiz pointed out, referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, “and Latin America is the solution because it fits with the world order that has so far existed in Europe. defended A. and the United States, based on the interests, nature of institutions and values. Latin America is the region of the world that has the best chance of joining our vision in these three areas. Without Ibero-America, we will not have a coalition that imposes democratic values ​​against autocracies,” he stressed in a dialogue moderated by EL PAÍS Director Pepa Bueno, which also included the US Ambassador to Spain. Julissa Reynoso participated. Speakers stressed the importance of an alliance between the two regions at a time when, according to Bueno, Europe is “self-absorbed” and is facing “the acceleration of history.”

Ambassador Reynoso stressed that the “concept of democracy” shared by Latin America, the US and Spain “will be called into question” if the needs of the citizens are not met. Speakers noted that economic reforms must reduce the axis of poverty and inequality, stimulate growth, and do so in a sustainable manner. “Democracies face common challenges, but the responses must be individual,” assured the Ibero-American General Secretary. This “inclusive and sustainable” response, creating opportunities for growth and growth, will in turn help contain the phenomenon of “forced migration” at its source, Reynoso said.

However, the Ambassador expressed regret that the overall framework is “minimal”. The last summit between the Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) dates back to June 2015. Since then, foreign ministers from both regions have met only three times, and high-level visits have also been rare. This relative distance has been exploited by players such as China, which has succeeded in displacing the European Union as the second trading partner in Latin America after the US, a position it has traditionally held.

This year’s conference of the bank, a multilateral financial institution that provides public and private banking services to 18 shareholder countries in Latin America, as well as Spain and Portugal, was entitled “Relations between Europe and Latin America. Alliances for a Sustainable Recovery”. Organized with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation, the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations and Casa de América, two discussions were also held, one on a sustainable recovery and the other on the global value of the Spanish language, in which they, among others, participated Gabriela Ramos, CEO Division of Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO; Christina Gallach, Commissioner of the Alliance for the New Economy of Language; Secretary of State for Ibero-America and the Caribbean and the Spanish Language in the World; Juan Fernandez Whit; and former President of the Inter-American Development Bank Enrique Iglesias.

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