Opening the discussion, Gustau Alegret, International Broadcast Journalist at NTN24, asked the three former heads of state and Concordia Leadership Council Members to describe the most relevant global disruption today. H.E. Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Former President of the Republic of Colombia and Concordia Leadership Council Member, named inflation, energy, and politics as contributing factors, expressing concern that high inflation and lack of access to energy will cause the poor to suffer. H.E. Luis Alberto Lacalle, Former President of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay and Concordia Leadership Council Member, agreed that the economic effect on energy and exports and the price of food are disruptive. H.E. José María Aznar Lopez, Former President of the Kingdom of Spain and Concordia Leadership Council Member, listed globalization as a serious mistake that could spell the end of the liberal order.
As for the causes of these disruptions, President Aznar listed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. retreat from international leadership, and the rise of China as contributing factors. President Lacalle named a crisis of leadership as the main issue, while President Uribe suggested that we need to rethink the role of international bodies like the United Nations, which was unable to stop the conflict.
Zeroing in on politics, Alegret asked why so many governments are turning to populism. President Lacalle said that the pendulum has changed: in a democracy, the other options simply need to be more attractive. President Uribe noted that center-right governments have not been able to deliver for their people, while President Aznar expressed concern over populist radical governments that do not offer guarantees for the transfer of power.
“We face what is called a perfect storm.”
Gustau Alegret, International Broadcast Journalist, NTN24
“The pendulum in democracy has changed. People are turning to new options and we must be more attractive than them.”
H.E. Luis Alberto Lacalle, Former President, the Oriental Republic of Uruguay; Concordia Leadership Council Member
“We’re living in an era of confrontation between great powers: the US and China. This will mark the history for the rest of the world.”
H.E. José María Aznar Lopez, Former President, the Kingdom of Spain; Concordia Leadership Council Member
“I see, from the perspective of my country in Latin America, three main negative impacts: inflation, energy, and political problems.”
H.E. Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Former President, the Republic of Colombia; Concordia Leadership Council