New York, United States, Sept 21 (EFE).- The heads of international economic institutions described a panorama of “hopelessness” for Latin America at the Global Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean 2023, held Thursday in New York, and called for political commitments to put an end to the cycles of ups and downs that repeatedly affect the region, with high poverty rates, flagging growth and unstable institutions.
The executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America, José Manuel Salazar Xirinachs, spoke at event, which was held on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, of the importance of smart policies and productive investments in the sectors that drive the region.
Salazar Xirinachs called for better economic policies because “democratic life is incompatible with a stagnant economy, a frustrated citizenry and without hope for a better future.”
He added that if economic growth is not achieved, the region will lose social peace, leading to more unequal and violent societies. “The solutions have already been invented and what is lacking is political commitment, alliances, alignment and will,” he said.
Hopelessness and low growth
The economic situation in Latin America and the Caribbean is one of “hopelessness, and this is repeated year after year,” said the head of the United Nations Policy Coordination and Monitoring Service, Mario Báez, during the first day of this forum organized by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
Former Colombian finance minister and Columbia University professor, José Antonio Ocampo, said transformation must be one of productive development.
“The periods of low growth in the region in the last decade show that something is wrong and we need to create counter-cyclical policies to avoid this by managing fiscal, social, monetary and trade policies,” he said.
The regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Development Program, Michelle Muschett, stressed that “the situation in the region is critical, including in terms of democratic institutions.
The former president of Bolivia, Carlos Mesa, spoke out against populism, which “has only led to temporary fictions,” and called for the construction of “serious” democratic institutions.
“Populism ate part of the success of the decade of development in the region, from 2004 to 2014, because it distributed the resources in favor of society, which received the money in cash but did not have the capacity to establish long-term responses,” he said. EFE