As a proud citizen of the Americas, I think of our region as one brimming with great potential and a solid vocation to freedom. I think of the boundless resilience of our people and the fortitude with which they have continually driven progress and innovation and have persistently fought authoritarian regimes and dictatorships. And as a public servant for the Americas, I think of being the voice for the voiceless and of my obligation to promote and defend democracy, human rights, security, development, and prosperity for all.
As we tackle the worst global pandemic in a century, we stand at a historic crossroads. The region faces the worst refugee crisis, the worst health crisis, and the worst economic crisis ever. The majority of the Latin American workforce is employed in the informal economy, meaning that some hundreds of millions of workers are living through the pandemic without labor protections and with limited social safety nets. Our refugee crisis, exacerbated by COVID-19, remains the worst in the world. The need for large-scale action is paramount. To echo the words of Mauricio Claver-Carone, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, now is the time to focus more, not less, on Latin America and the Caribbean.
Concordia’s initial connection with Latin America began in 2011 when Co-Founders Matthew Swift and Nicholas Logothetis first met Alvaro Uribe Velez, then-President of the Republic of Colombia. The organization’s on-the-ground work in Colombia resulted in the establishment of the Concordia Americas Initiative. I’m immensely proud of how far we have come—this year, we hosted our 5th Concordia Americas Summit, which brought together world-renowned political leaders, business innovators, global non-governmental representatives, and impressive young minds to tackle the most challenging issues and the most significant opportunities facing the Western Hemisphere. It is our hope that the cross-sector conversations and partnerships coming out of this Summit will pave the way for the large-scale, targeted action that the region urgently needs.
It is my privilege to introduce the 2020 Concordia Americas Summit Report. Throughout the Summit, our speakers and attendees discussed the region’s most pressing issues. They explored the outlook for economic recovery and trade across the region. They examined the role of investors, policymakers, business leaders, and cross-sector stakeholders in advancing clean energy innovation. They analyzed the political and social spectrum throughout Latin America and what’s needed to address inequality, refugee crises, social unrest, and opportunity gaps. And, they addressed the role of technology within a COVID-19 context and its influence on economic recovery and job creation. It was truly a day alive with in-depth, engaging discussions and world-class thought leadership.
I hope that you enjoy this report and that you’ll join me—and join Concordia—in elevating these critical discussions and transforming these discussions into meaningful action.
H.E. Luis Almagro
|A Bilateral Investment Initiative to Advance Integrated Rural Development & Combat Drug Production in Colombia||Tackling Maternal & Child Mortality Rates in Latin America: Mobilizing & Harnessing High-Level, Private Sector, Philanthropic & Multi-Stakeholder Engagement|
|The Refugee Crisis & Regional Governance||The Role of Women in Latin America’s Economic Recovery|
|Concordia Action Alliance – Vaccine Coordination, Production & Distribution|
|Talent: A Long-Term Bet on Human Ingenuity||The Future of Development Finance in Latin America & the Caribbean|
|Innovation & Technology as Catalysts for Change in Latin America||Creative(Cities): Entrepreneurial Environments & Emotional Development|
|Working with Data in Latin America: Strategies & Challenges||Giving Latin America & the Caribbean Something to Smile About|