The second day of special activities organized by CAF (Development Bank of Latin America) will take place this Tuesday in the city of Manhattan, New York, within the framework of the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations. For this occasion, the themes aim at participation through sports, problems of youth and innovation in education, with the presentation of the former president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos; of the Government of Spain and a member of the Madrid Club, Jose Maria Aznar; and from Panama, Martin Torrijosamong others.
Yesterday, at the event “Many Voices, One Region: Latin America and the Caribbean Working Together on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, political and private leaders warned of fissures, political violence and the rise of organized drug trafficking. Latin America and the Caribbean and in addition made themselves available to advance solutions to global problems such as climate change, inequality, poverty and economic growth.
“One of the most serious problems in South America is polarization, it is something that prevents democracy from solving the problems of the people“. The analysis was provided by Santos, but the same concerns, albeit with nuances, were expressed by President Alberto Fernandez, Nobel Peace Prize laureates Rigoberta Menchú and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, and other Latin Americans.
The Argentine President, busy with activities and after a meeting with the Director General of the International Monetary Fund, once again insisted on the abolition of the embargoes with countries such as Cuba and Venezuela (something he had already called attention to in the middle of last month on the occasion of the CELAC meeting) and confirmed that the region has already suffered the “cost of working fragmented”. Without naming him, it was yet another criticism of the presidential administration of Mauricio Macri, in this case his foreign policy.
“(There was) a time when ONASUR was at an end; the time when MERCOSUR was put into crisis; the time when other groups flourished, like the LIMA Group, PROSUR, different attempts, which were not essentially Latin American and which really only caused dispersion in Latin America,” he asked. And he pointed to the need to “continue to preach peace, so that the world understands that no more wars can be tolerated; we must join the search for peace in the north: because missiles fly in the north, but hunger is found in the south”.
For his part, Santos, in addition to condemning division and polarization, said the progress of organized drug trafficking as a concern that threatens the development of South America. “The increase in the power of the drug-trafficking mafia is wreaking havoc, from Mexico to Argentina, this will continue to worsen as long as we do not change the focus of this war on drugs.” In this sense, he said that if it continues “with a punitive approach” the situation will worsen and he called for a “humane and effective” treatment of the problem.
In her speech, Guatemalan leader and activist Rigoberta Menchú took a more positive view, although she acknowledged that Latin America “is a continent full of human, economic, social and political challenges.” Moreover, he argued that democracies “have a lot to offer in the involvement and participation of citizens.”
Meanwhile, Pérez Esquivel pointed out that “peace is not given, it is built and it is not the work of one person, but shared by thousands of people throughout the region.” In addition, he questioned the desire to impose a single way of thinking on citizens, something he described as “monoculturalism of the mind” and advocated building “diversity for peaceful coexistence”. “This continent lives between anguish and hope, we are not poor but we are nations poor because of the economic exploitation and domination our people are subjected to,” he said.
The idea of polarization was also raised by CAF’s general manager, Sergio Díaz-Granados. “The rift is everywhere and it spans generations, ideologically and politically,” he warned in his opening remarks at the first panel discussion in New York, dedicated to the challenges of leadership.
CAF commemorates 10 years since its entry into the United Nations as a permanent observer, where it has signed at least 40 instruments (agreements, treaties and letters of association) with more than 20 parties, aimed at addressing problems which are related to agriculture jointly and clearly. , finance, education, employment, health, gender, governance, environment, among others.
Today, the President of Guyana, irfaan ali; from private sector and civil society leaders such as FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu; Achim Steiner, Director General of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); and Luis Felipe López-Calva, UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. Also from Kate Behncken, vice president of philanthropy at Microsoft; Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University; Darren Ware, Vice President of Government Relations for Mastercard; Alejandro Werner, director of the Institute of the Americas, Georgetown; former presidents of Spain and Panama, José María Aznar and Martin Torrijos; Dan Restrepo, former Director of the Western Hemisphere at the US National Security Council, among others.
Alberto Fernandez traveled to New York for the UN Assembly and will condemn the attack on Cristina Kirchner at the international level.