Launching at the beginning of the year, our 2018 Americas Initiative has, to date, hosted the Presidential Debate, convened a panel of experts to analyze the answers given by the presidential candidates, and featured a series of roundtable discussions. We are delighted to be returning to Colombia to continue critical discussions as the nation approaches a crossroad of historical significance. Bringing together renowned political, guild, and business leaders, academic experts, and representatives of leading non-governmental organizations, the 2018 Concordia Americas Summit will serve as the first global platform through which to advise the incoming administration prior to its inauguration in August, while addressing the political and economic priorities of Colombia and Latin America as a whole.
The 2018 Concordia Americas Summit, hosted on July 16-17 in Bogotá, Colombia, provided the first major international convening following the country’s presidential elections. Welcoming over 1,000 leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, the Americas Summit provided critical, action-oriented insight into a diverse array of opportunities—and challenges—facing both Colombia and Latin America as a whole.
The 2018 Americas Summit Report features spotlights with our keynote speakers—President Santos, President-elect Duque, Vice President-elect Ramírez (now Former President, President, and Vice President, respectively), Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, and Administrator of USAID Mark Green. It also features a summary of the interview between Concordia Leadership Council Member Gen. (Ret.) David H. Petraeus and Former President Santos during one of his final appearances as President of the Republic of Colombia, as well as summaries of the main themes explored throughout the Summit and key next steps.
Former President of the Republic of Colombia, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
President, Republic of Colombia
Vice President of the Republic of Colombia
Former Vice President of the United States of America
Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Govern...
Former President, Republic of Costa Rica
Former President, Plurinational State of Bolivia
Vice President - Office of Investment Policy, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Vice Chairman, McLarty Associates; Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State | & U.S. Director of Nation...
Director, Latin American Program, Wilson Center
Founder & Chef, El Cielo Restaurant
Throughout the past century, Latin America has faced numerous setbacks in establishing functioning democratic governments and established citizenship for its citizens. Currently, the nations of northern central South America are at a turning point, with almost every country in the region facing the result of a fully democratic election uninterrupted by corruption or conflict. In our discussion, speakers will discuss the practicalities of democracy in the region, the functionality of citizenship, and the greater significance this system has for Latin America.
The future of Colombia is dependent on a myriad of factors, not least of which is how Colombia engages with – both economically and politically – the rest of the world. From tariffs to foreign direct investment and security policies, the actions Colombia takes in the coming years in relation to other countries will have a lasting impact on its citizens. With a diverse group of international perspectives from across the economic, diplomacy, and security fields, this session will uncover strategies Colombia can use to engage internationally that protects Colombian priorities while creating an atmosphere of open dialogue and exchange with governments and businesses alike.
Nearly all cocaine produced worldwide comes from three countries: Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia. Meanwhile, the majority of cocaine consumption is driven by the United States and Europe. The sale of illegal narcotics has plagued the international community for the past forty years, while directly affecting the infrastructure of Latin America. It has ingrained itself in setbacks concerning social welfare, capital investment, and democratic infrastructure in numerous countries in the region. In this time of reform, it begs the question if something can be done to solve the issue at hand. In 2016, the United Nations estimated that over 106,000 Colombian families subsisted on coca farming. This conversation will examine issues central to the unique nature of crisis, such as the cycle from coca cultivation to drug trafficking, and explore what can be done to treat affected areas in our society.
Almost all nations in Latin America have been affected dramatically by issues related to environmental security, particularly access to resources such as water and minerals. In part, this is related to climate change, but also to how governments limit access to resources by actors who could potentially aid the environment or their nation’s economy. The crossroads lie between how outside actors mitigate risk of government exclusion, and how governments keep local populations and environments protected. The dialogue will examine how working cohesively towards economic growth can be sustainable and beneficial for all parties involved.
In our constantly evolving global society, we need not look further than the center of that progress being founded in technological advances. It has streamlined and established policy related to international trade, and in doing so has placed Latin America more centrally within the framework of the global economy. Yet access to this technology is not a given for large portions of the Americas, hindering economic development, entrepreneurship, and information dissemination. And for those that are connected into the digital world, essential privacy and accountability questions must be answered by companies and governments alike that balance innovation with security. Given the vast resources necessary to fully leverage technological innovations and the potential risks, coordination and alignment by the public and private sector is the only way to ensure an equitable, safe, and thriving digital future.
The healthcare landscape of the Americas is a study in polarity: there are examples of top health services in the world and great success stories of affordable and sustainable models, yet there is a stark contrast with a lack of access, especially in remote areas, and higher than average mortality rates for a vast population across the region. Scale, affordability, access, and quality are all factors that collide head-on with the political, economic, and culturally diverse landscape of the region, creating a complicated and difficult reality in which governments try to secure the health of their citizens and companies try to navigate an ever evolving marketplace that poses significant risks and complex regulatory systems. Yet, despite the challenges, there remains a common goal of quality, affordable access for all.
This discussion will seek to answer some key questions to these challenges and shared goal, including: Where is the healthcare system working well, where is it failing, and what lessons can be learned from these examples? How can the public and private sector work together to create a sustainable and affordable healthcare system? What kinds of healthcare investments are most effective in delivering on-the-ground impact?
The Venezuelan humanitarian crisis can only be described as utterly tragic. Worsening economic conditions, the return of previously eradicated diseases such as malaria, and the complete rupture of the democratic order have sent Venezuela on an even deeper downward spiral. The crisis has spilled over to Venezuela’s neighbors, as Venezuelans increasingly flee to Colombia and Brazil because of hunger and insecurity. The crisis has thus taken on a regional and global focus, as the world closely follows the situation in Venezuela. In discussing this crisis, we hope to determine solutions to alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people – both in Venezuela and neighboring countries – and an action plan for the international community to push for a return to democracy in Venezuela.
From scientists to economists, the global community cannot deny that Latin America as a whole provides a wealth of natural ingredients for a number of essential life-saving pharmaceuticals. Over the past decade, there has been significant advancement towards the effective treatment of previously-untreatable medical conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, PTSD, and cancer. Scientists have opened their doors to experimenting with ingredients found in abundance in the Latin Americas. This discussion will examine the ways in which not only advancements in medical innovation can help Latin America contribute to global health, but how the new use of natural resources can emerge as substantial commodities on the global market.
A stable, thriving economy is essential for the lasting peace and prosperity of Colombia and the wider region. While there are many governmental entities, companies, and organizations seeking to create economic development, these efforts are largely siloed, leading to waste, redundancy and risk. Blended financial approaches to funding development projects across sectors may hold the key to facilitating cooperation, aligning resources, identifying the right projects for investment, and, most importantly, securing a peaceful future.
This discussion will bring together leaders from across the spectrum of investment firms, multilateral organizations, government, civil society, entrepreneurs, and impact experts to highlight best practices, better understand how innovative financing models are structured, and develop a coalition of interested parties that Concordia’s Department of Partnership Development will continue to engage with as Concordia builds out its larger initiative on innovative financing.
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