Inter-American Dialogue Inter-American Dialogue
About the DialogueMembersEventsPublicationsImpactSupport Program Agenda


2011 trilateral CONFERENCE

The 2011 Trilateral Conference convened on April 13 and 14 in Madrid. Discussions centered on governance and the media in Latin America; the growing challenge of crime and violence in the region; the political and economic impact of the BRICS countries; and US policy toward Latin America after President Obama’s visit to the region in March of this year. Special guests included former Costa Rican president Óscar Arias, former governor of Michoacán (Mexico) Lázaro Cárdenas, and governor of Nariño (Colombia) Antonio Navarro Wolff. Dan Restrepo, special assistant to the president at the National Security Council; Maria Otero, under secretary of state for democracy and global affairs; and José Fernández, assistant secretary of state for economic affairs, joined the meeting from Washington via videoconference. Read the report by Áurea Moltó.

Previous trilateral conferences




The centerpiece of the Dialogue's work on Europe and Latin America is the Trilateral Conference organized annually alongside the General Secretariat of the Ibero-American Summit (SEGIB) and Real Instituto Elcano. The Trilateral Conference brings together an influential high-level group of public and private leaders from Europe, Latin America, and the United States for discussions on challenges facing the trilateral relationship and how to strengthen cooperation among the three parties.

The initiative started in 2004 in Washington, D.C., as the triangular European/Latin American/U.S. Forum organized by the Inter-American Dialogue in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Embassy of Spain. The first meeting brought together 20 European policymakers, several US government officials, and some 40 private sector leaders and analysts, including former presidents Jorge Quiroga of Bolivia, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez of Costa Rica, and president Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic. The discussions focused on Latin America's economic challenges and prospects; governance and security; and U.S. and European policies toward Latin America. A second meeting was held in February 2005.

In 2007 the initiative was reinvigorated. The partnering institutions—now SEGIB, and Real Instituto Elcano—joined the Dialogue to host four “trilateral conferences” in Madrid in the recent period. Participation  from Europe, Latin America, and the United States, has been exceptionally strong. It has included several former presidents, current and former ministers of state, current and former parliamentary leaders, heads of international organizations, and many other leaders.


Michael Shifter, President
Peter Hakim, President Emeritus
Joan Caivano, Deputy to the President and Director of Special

For more information please contact Paul Shortell at or (202) 463-2933.