Tuesday, June 6

Andrés Allamand, Ibero-American Secretary General: “Spain is an asset in Latin America, and I wish it were even stronger”

The XXVIII Ibero-American Summit will be held on the 24th and 25th in the Dominican Republic with the challenge of finding consensus in the midst of the ideological frictions that can arise from authoritarian countries and even dictatorships sitting at the same table. The Ibero-American Secretary General, the Chilean Andrés Allamand, considers that dialogue among all is a greater good and an example in the commitment that regional integration can be decoupled from political waves. And he warns that the political polarization in Spain should not distract Spaniards from their involvement in the Ibero-American Community, whose general secretariat is based in Madrid. — Among the 22 countries of the Ibero-American Community there are some non-democratic ones. Doesn’t your presence hinder the dialogue, even though some of your presidents, such as Ortega or Maduro personally do not attend? —The organization of the Ibero-American Community has been sufficiently flexible to be able to articulate, work and seek consensus formulas, assuming that there are differences and situations that can be complex at times. The summit already has 30 uninterrupted years and has been able to cope with these situations. —Other presidents like López Obrador or Lula da Silva will not be there either… —Each country has its circumstances and every international meeting coexists with that. Andorra has elections; if Peru were to send the president, at the moment it does not have a vice president to take charge of the country; the president of Mexico does not usually go to meetings of this type… Lula has made a great effort to be able to be there, but he has a trip to China; he will participate with a message, because with its return to power Brazil wants to play a prominent international role. «It is necessary to decouple the political waves from the regional integration processes, although ideology often affects the process» —Is it possible that some countries present resolutions on controversial aspects? —The summit has an agenda, which is set a year in advance. In this we will address four issues: a digital bill of rights, an environmental bill of rights, a food security strategy and a proposal for a new international financial architecture. It is a defined agenda, which at the same time is open, since the countries, through their heads of state, can bring up the issues they consider of interest. If someone wants to promote a specific resolution on the situation of a country or on a regional issue, he can do so, but that resolution must be approved unanimously. Related News KEYS TO LATIN AMERICA standard Yes Argentina’s interventionist diplomacy Emili J. Blasco Ecuador and Chile protest against Buenos Aires taking sides in their neighbors’ internal affairs —Could there be a condemnation of the war in Ukraine, a thorny issue for some countries close to Putin? —The topic is likely to come up, given that the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Policy and Security, Josep Borrell, is a special guest at the summit. There will then be a deliberation and if a resolution were to be formulated, it would have to be approved by the 22 members. —Are you optimistic about a regional integration that is barely advancing? —We are in a good moment in view of the wishes expressed by some new presidents, but for now the necessary degree of concretion is not visualized. It is fundamental to assume that the integration phenomena have to be decoupled from the political waves, which in reality are inherent to the democratic alternation. Regionalization has to be able to walk regardless of the political color of the governments; however, many times ideological factors affect the process. It is also important that integration has to advance through different avenues. If the region made a sustained effort to integrate through infrastructure, it would be a giant step; Today internal connectivity problems are very high. «Digital and environmental rights, food security and new financial architecture» —The American countries are going through a socioeconomic setback, now damaged by inflation. One aspect is food safety. —Latin America has the paradox of being a large producer of food and, simultaneously, having a significant percentage of people who suffer from hunger. To solve this, countries are looking at very practical things. Latin America is one of the regions where more food is lost and wasted, simply due to enormous defects in the food marketing and distribution chains. There is an emphasis on generating greater food production, but not based on the extension of arable land, which in many cases implies deforestation, but through the incorporation of precision agriculture, with high-level technologies. —Another item on the summit’s agenda is a proposal for an international financial architecture. —There is a consensus that today the international financial architecture is not particularly positive for the financing needs of most of our economies. The countries are thinking about mechanisms so that the multilateral development banks can be more effective in this aspect and in the use of the issuance of special drawing rights. It is a matter of generating financing flows that allow the economic recovery that is needed to be viable. —Does internal political polarization lead Spain to withdraw into itself and pay little attention to Ibero-America? —It is true that in recent times Europe in general has not put Latin America on the radar. But objectively speaking, Spain is a major player in Latin America: it is the largest European investor and has a series of links of a different nature with the region, not just commercial and business. Spain is an asset and I wish it was even stronger. —This summit wishes to relaunch relations between Europe and Latin America. How to achieve it? —You have to think about at least four things: improve political articulation –note that the next CELAC-EU summit scheduled for July is held after a period of eight years of interruption–; make progress in trade or association agreements – it makes no sense for negotiations to go on forever and last decades to remain in a kind of limbo; increase the flow of investment, and modernize cooperation mechanisms.


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