As a new president prepares to take office in the U.S., this seems like a good opportunity to evaluate both the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain in the relationship between the
The world is ripe for a renewed and strengthened multilateralism, and the support of the
There is no doubt that our region’s relationship with the
The current global landscape is quite different from two decades ago. Globalization has deepened, and the world is moving toward new forms of governance. The
If those institutions are not democratized and redesigned to reflect today’s diverse and complex political environment, they will not be able to provide the kind of governance we need in the twenty-first century.
Today’s reality calls for a reformulation of the way in which we find solutions. We are optimistic. The recent past shows that the U.S.-Latin America relationship can move forward along a path of mutual understanding and common effort. In the early 1990s, the
Certainly there have been limitations, but we have also reached unprecedented levels of hemispheric cooperation. This suggests what can be achieved in the future.
We must work quickly and we must work together. The longer we wait, the more costly the solutions. I am convinced that Latin America and the
There are many challenges. One is climate change. If we are unable to stop global warming, the effects will be irreversible for humanity and, indeed, for life on Earth. Just as important is concerted action in areas such as the international economy. Global trade talks have stagnated recently, and we need to move them on. And both current financial instability and international inflation tell us that we need to take a fresh look at the current system of international financial institutions. The same vision is applicable in other issues that cross boundaries and involve multilateral talks, such as migration security issues, terrorism, and organized crime—among others.
We have also made progress on the economic front. The region has enjoyed seven years of economic growth, despite a complicated international environment.
There is more to be done, of course. We must increase competitiveness, promote innovation and ensure that all members of our societies participate in the development process. We must make our societies more inclusive and socially cohesive. This is an outstanding debt that the policies of the so-called Washington Consensus were unable to address. There is, however, good reason to be optimistic. Just consider what has been accomplished in the last few years in