Ibero-American Summit: Alliances for a Fair and Sustainable region

The XXVIII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government addressed the recovery of Ibero-American economies and societies. In addition, joint roadmaps were presented on four strategic issues and the Ibero-American Charter of Principles and Rights in Digital Environments was approved.

Ibero-American summit
Renata Dutra

Renata Dutra-Borges de Almeida

- Actualizado

Reading time: 6 min

The XXVIII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of States and Governments, led by SEGIB, took place last week in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The conclave brought together the twenty-two countries that make up the Ibero-American Community to address the central issue of recovery through the restructuring of its economies and societies.

The Ibero-American Summit, bringing together the majority of Latin American heads of state, constitutes the region’s main political high-level meeting. Public policy alignments on issues of interest to the Ibero-American Community are presented and proposed.

Under the slogan “Together for a Just and Sustainable Iberoamerica“, governments have worked to develop joint roadmaps on four strategic issues: i) Food Security; ii) Environment; iii) Financial Architecture; and iv) Digital Principles and Rights.

Ibero-American Agreement on Digital Principles and Rights

The preparatory ministerial meetings for the Summit provided a space for participation and debate among the region’s policy makers. Of the four main axes, the document that has had the greatest impact has been the proposal of the Ibero-American Agreement of Digital Principles and Rights.

The convention is declaratory and non-binding in nature. The objective is to promote common principles to be considered by the States when adopting or adapting national legislation. Similarly, to implement public policies related to the protection of rights and the fulfillment of duties in digital environments. This serves as a guideline for companies, civil society and academia when developing and applying technologies, placing people at the center of the digital transformation.

This agreement was approved by a large consensus among the ICT ministries of all countries. Moreover, it was drafted under Dominican leadership thanks to the excellent coordination of its own ministry of technology and communication. Its proposal is framed in a detailed context of milestones and decisions of different multilateral organizations, which gives it timely legitimacy.

EU-CELAC Bi-regional Strategic Partnership

Another important aspect of this Summit is that it took place in a framework of special geostrategic and diplomatic relevance in view of the future Spanish Presidency of the EU, which will begin on July 1. The diplomatic efforts of both the Spanish government and the External Action Service of the European Union were very effective. The community of Ibero-American countries will present in the Final Declaration of the Summit a positive expression of intentions with a view to the III CELAC-EU Summit. It should be recalled that this summit will be held next July under the leadership of Spain in Brussels.

On the other hand, they adopt a Special Communication on the Role of the Ibero-American Community in the relations of affinity and complementarity with the European Union. They recognize the importance of supporting and enhancing a bi-regional strategic partnership for the benefit of the societies of both regions, as well as solidarity and reciprocal cooperation in the face of the challenges of the triple digital, ecological and socio-economic transition, which must be inclusive and sustainable. In this regard, they agreed to strengthen their ties to optimize efforts and maximize shared benefits.

Business commitment to the region’s investment and development agenda

The days prior to the political Summit, the XIV Ibero-American Business Meeting took place, which brought together more than a thousand business representatives from the region and has been of interest to the Telefónica Group, since our representatives had a positive and persuasive participation.

This meeting is one of the most important business forums to reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing the productive ecosystem in general and the private sector in particular. This forum constitutes a unique instance of public-private dialogue. The program allows governments and public administrations to meet with companies and business organizations to discuss common problems and solutions.

The two-day forum focused on six themes for the region’s recovery and development: Investment; Sustainability, climate action and social commitment; Connectivity and digital transformation; Infrastructure and energy development; Tourism; and Gender Equality

Trinidad Jimenez, Director of Global Strategy for Public Affairs moderated the Sustainability Panel, which showed that sustainability, climate action and corporate social engagement are essential levers in the roadmap for moving towards a low-carbon economy. They are also key to achieving a circular production and consumption model, capable of generating wealth and assuring a balance in the availability of resources.

Trinidad Jiménez, Sustainability panel

Alfonso Gómez, CEO of Telefónica Hispam participated in the Digitalization Panel. The panel discussed the “forced innovation” of the challenges of connectivity and digital transformation to face the speed of current changes; it is essential to achieve democratization and access to digitization not only in homes, but also in production processes and social services (education, health, etc.).

Alfonso Gómez, Digitalization panel

In addition, the Business Meeting highlighted the commitment to a new investment agenda for the region in order to achieve recovery through the abovementioned restructuring of economies and societies.  In this regard, an Investment Declaration was launched, which represents a decalogue of commitments of the Ibero-American business class.

The Summit with the greatest significance in digitization issues

This has been one of the most productive Ibero-American Summits. It has concluded with up to twenty documents published as a result of the processes of reflection and consensus reached by the governments delegations. We could also say that both the political summit and the business meeting have dealt with digitization issues more than ever, given the relevance of the Agreement of Digital Rights and Principles and also the Final Recommendations of the “Declaration of Santo Domingo“, which entrusts digitization as an essential lever for the Ibero-American development.

In addition, and in conclusion, the pro-tempore Presidency of the Summit was transferred to Ecuador. In November 2024, Quito will host the next Ibero-American Summit under the theme “Innovation, inclusion and sustainability in Ibero-America“.

Certainly, on this occasion, the alliances and commitments advocated in Santo Domingo will have made Ibero-America a fairer and sustainable region.


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