President of the Inter-American Dialogue Sits with GFDD

November 2, 2017

For its third Global Roundtable of 2017, the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) sought out the input and advice of Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, on a wide range of current events and recent trends in US-Latin American and Caribbean relations.

The conversation began with a discussion on broad changes in the economic relationship between the US and Latin America. According to Shifter, the US does not occupy the dominant position towards Latin America that it once did. Concerning this transformation and the rise of new global players, Shifter stated: “In recent decades and most of all in the last 15 years, there has been a transformation that has resulted in China
having a very important presence in many countries.”

Then, the conversation shifted to the topic of trade agreements, which has recently garnered much attention in the US. Shifter detailed how through its withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the US has sent a clear signal to the rest of the world that it does not have the desire that it once did to play a true leadership role in the world.

Latin America is one of the regions
with the highest inequality in the world. When the conversation transitioned to this area, Shifter contended that governments must implement policies to bring about equity throughout society. Noting the importance of education in combatting inequality, Shifter stated: “If there isn’t human capital (development) and learning; if skills and abilities are lacking in society, it will be difficult to compete in a globalized economy.”

A longtime
member and contributor to the Inter-American Dialogue, Shifter recalled the conception of the Dialogue as a space for leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss important issues in their home countries and region. Its 120 members are truly the engine that drive the Dialogue’s contributions to the issues it tackles. Flexibility in its activities, as Shifter posited, is paramount: “It’s a chess game; a process.”

For this
Global Roundtable, GFDD once again counted on Angie Martinez, Officer at the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in the United States, to sit down with a leading expert of international policy in the city of Washington, DC. Their entire discussion on the aforementioned topics and more is available on YouTube.

About Michael Shifter
Michael Shifter is president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a DC-based not-for-profit non-governmental
organization that engages a network of global leaders to foster democratic governance, prosperity, and social equity in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 1994, Shifter has played a key role in shaping the Dialogue’s agenda, and has written and talked widely on US-Latin America relations and hemispheric affairs. His articles have appeared in leading newspapers and journals throughout the United States and Latin America, and he has testified regularly before the US Congress
about US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 1993, Shifter has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he teaches Latin American Politics. He holds a MA from Harvard University and a BA from Oberlin College.

About GFDD Global Roundtables
In close association with the United Nations, the Mission of the Dominican Republic to the UN, the Organization of American States,
and South-South News, GFDD organizes regular meetings with UN and OAS Ambassadors as well as with other prominent figures in the international community in an effort to spread the news, knowledge and understanding of other countries, global issues and the work of different international organizations. Through its Global Roundtables, GFDD aims to develop alliances with similarly-focused institutions for the ongoing exchange of experiences and knowledge, and promote face-to-face interactions
between the UN, the OAS, and GFDD’s community throughout the United States, Latin America, and the world.

More Information
The Inter-American Dialogue
GFDD Global Roundtables