In addition to the epidemic crisis, Dominican President Luis Abinader called on Ibero-US leaders to consider a fair, green and sustainable development model for tourism, considering the impact of climate change on the sector.
In a speech to XXVII Euro-American leaders and heads of state in Andorra, where the Dominican Republic is accepting the interim presidency of this conference, the Dominican President spoke of the deterioration of marine ecosystems and the rise of sea level.
“Friends, the world has reached a turning point, which prompts us to consider another model of development. We will win together or we will fail individually, the decision is ours, ”the Dominican leader concluded.
Following is Abinader’s full text at the Ibero-US Summit
Speech by President Abinader at the Euro-US Summit – Andorra 2020
At this time, our region and the world are facing great challenges that can only be overcome from the renewed diversity. Indeed, in the face of epidemics, climate emergencies, technological change and the need to set a new precedent for the welfare state, it is essential to strengthen solidarity and cooperation among the Ibero-American people.
The Dominican government, like other countries, has made enormous efforts to mitigate the effects of this health and economic crisis, allocating large sums of money to the most vulnerable areas of the population so that they do not have to be vulnerable to loss of income. But, in addition, we have used health resources to prevent the spread of infection and have successfully started the vaccination process.
However, before the epidemic, the crisis of regionalism in Latin America was evident in the paralysis of coordination mechanisms and the disintegration that our countries have shown in multilateral forums.
During this period, similarly, a certain economic stagnation was noted, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, during the period 2014-2019, the lowest growth since the 1950s.
Dear Colleagues, These are the data that compel us to redouble our efforts to strengthen regional integration and diversity.
To achieve this, there is an urgent need to restructure the priorities of public spending and the way we manage our communities. Today it is necessary to move towards a development model such as better distribution of the great wealth that mankind can create, protection of human rights and the environment, as well as the renewal of democratic political institutions to new technologies.
This new paradigm, above all, must be aimed at safeguarding democracy and human rights in the face of the dangers of inequality and crisis, which, as at present, create great pressure on democratic rule.
As the ECLAC points out: “To deal with the health crisis, political and social agreements will be required, which will be structured with the participation of a variety of actors, which will make it possible to globalize social security and health …”.
The global nature of the disease and the crisis have strengthened the interconnectedness of the world. Diversity, equality, and solidarity are policies that penetrate the most complex, diverse, and global fabrics with the greatest intensity.
The sense of vulnerability we suddenly discover due to the virus makes our responsibility for the planet even clearer and should lead to decisions to change the path we have taken so far.
However, despite the need for an updated multidisciplinary approach, we have noticed that rich countries have adopted hoarding policies in the process of distributing vaccines against Govt-19, which, regrettably and unjustifiably, have been reduced and denied access to them. Middle-income countries, contrary to any notion of human solidarity.
Let it be clear. We do not advocate for humanitarian aid or charitable funds. What we are proposing is an alliance for growth, which will allow the region to move to a new production and redistribution model.
I cannot conclude this speech without mentioning the tourism sector which has been a machine of economic growth for us and other countries for decades. This important sector has been greatly affected by the health crisis, and beyond this situation, in the Caribbean, the effects of climate change are already being felt as the degradation of marine ecosystems and rising sea levels are destroying our shores.
Friends, the world has reached a turning point, which prompts us to consider another model of development, fair, green and sustainable. Whether we succeed together or fail individually, the decision is ours. Thanks.