The Road to Hemispheric Cooperation: Beyond the Cartagena Summit of the Americas
Latin America and the Caribbean have made substantial progress in advancing democratic freedoms and enhancing economic opportunities. However, hemispheric cooperation and integration remain key challenges. During last April’s Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, leaders reached consensus on social inclusion and other difficult challenges facing the region but disagreements on other topics, such as Cuba and drug policy, dominated the agenda. Can the region’s governments rise above the current stalemate and move forward on pressing issues such as economic innovation and integration, public security, education reform, and energy and climate change?
On July 17, the Latin America Initiative at Brookings hosted a discussion and offered recommendations for a roadmap to greater inter-American cooperation on these and related issues. Drawing on a set of papers commissioned by Brookings, authors Inés Bustillo, Kevin Casas-Zamora and Ted Piccone assessed issues of economic development, public security, and democracy and human rights. Their presentations were followed by commentary by John Feeley, principal deputy assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Richard Feinberg. Senior Fellow Ernesto Talvi, director of the Latin America Initiative, provided introductory remarks.