15 November 2018
Posteado en : Interview
The 26th Ibero-American Summit takes place today and tomorrow. Germán García da Rosa, current director of the Public Administration and Social Affairs Area of FIIAPP and who has worked on the preparation of this biennial summit for many years, offers us some keys to it
How important is the Ibero-American Summit in the international politics of the participating countries?
This is a meeting of the highest political level, since it brings together the heads of state and government of the 19 countries of Latin American, together with Spain, Portugal and Andorra. From this meeting, a political declaration is made, which must be followed up on in the two-year period between each summit.
Every year foreign ministers of all countries meet with the aim of complying with the mandates issued by the heads of state and government during their respective meeting at the previous summit, and in the same way regular meetings are held at the ministerial level. At the level of governments, spaces of consensus are generated on common themes that are considered relevant. Both the General Secretariat, based in Madrid, and the pro tempore Secretariat, which the host country of each Summit holds, are dedicated to the coordination and preparation of Latin American meetings or forums. Civil society is also cited several times during the year to feed thematic documents that will reach the authorities. This means that there is a participatory scheme of governments and civil society that supports the summits, and not less important, a network of relationships at a regional level that strengthens the Ibero-American space in its various thematic vectors.
The summit is dedicated to sustainable development, but will gender also be present? What other topics will be relevant at the meeting?
From the moment that the theme of this Summit is framed within the Sustainable Development Goals and obviously the relevance of the 2030 Agenda for the region, the gender component will be very present. It is unthinkable to discuss a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable Ibero-America without considering the gender component. The Ibero-American cooperation considers it and for that reason the dedication to the subject is perceived in a transversal way in all Ibero-American programmes and commitments. Especially those related to the definition of new models of governance and social cohesion, the creation of alliances through dialogues, education, programmes, initiatives and projects that promote culture, the necessary innovation to move to new productive models through the spaces of knowledge, and transversally in all areas with the theme of gender.
What role does cooperation play in the framework of the summit?
It plays a central role since it is the basis for the verification of the work carried out by the Heads of Government of the 22 countries. In other words, Ibero-American cooperation is one of the pillars that support the Ibero-American summit system, a central motive for the holding of meetings and forums in the region.
It should also be noted that the Ibero-American cooperation model is unique: it has an integrating approach and its design considers horizontality in the relationship between states. Participation in Ibero-American cooperation programmes is voluntary, and each country evaluates its national priorities when deciding to take part.
Although cooperation is technical, it articulates financial cooperation on principles based on solidarity among countries; the programmes are the result of previous political dialogue. It is also part of the Ibero-American Cooperation Manual that has been updated periodically.
The areas of Ibero-American cooperation cover social cohesion, education, innovation and knowledge and culture and, as I mentioned, are applied in Ibero-American spaces. Its instruments are divided into programmes, initiatives and related projects.
Do you think that at the summit, practical solutions will be proposed to the proposals promoted by the 2030 Agenda?
Ibero-America has been working on and responding to the challenges proposed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals through steps and procedures in each of the countries and through sovereign decisions, all the while fulfilling an intensely active international political agenda. Of course, the need to focus on a new sustainable development must have a regional perspective, but most importantly, a global approach is necessary. Most of the problems to be resolved through each of the SDGs are intrinsically related to actions and interrelations between the countries of the region. And, also, the way to face these and aim toward achieving them also depends on sharing successful experiences, a feature that Ibero-American countries have incorporated through the Ibero-American cooperation system.
The central axes of the SDGs include equality and care for the environment, take into account the right to productive and decent employment of people, transparency in governance and a clear relationship between the State and citizens. All these issues will be and have been dealt with in Ibero-American summits and in the meetings and forums fostered within them.
How is the FIIAPP linked to this summit?
FIIAPP is closely linked to the process of the Ibero-American Summits and follows up on their progress both in the political dialogue and in the maturity of their regional, triangular and South-South cooperation programmes. Our concentration on the improvement of public policies and better administrations with the countries in which we work means that we share many of the objectives of the summits; Latin America is also a priority region for the action of FIIAPP.
Furthermore, the Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean, president of the Permanent Commission of the Board of Trustees of FIIAPP, actively participates in representing Spanish cooperation throughout the process of the Ibero-American conference and in particular in this upcoming Summit in Antigua, Guatemala.