This is a tough, daunting moment in the Western Hemisphere and indeed the world. Throughout the Americas, accelerating, often surprising political shifts have left many of us bewildered and disoriented. In most of our societies, political and social fissures have deepened and have become more difficult to manage. Elections in Brazil, Mexico, the United States and elsewhere have revealed profound fault lines, bringing forth more divisive and sometimes even hateful politics.
At the Dialogue we are keenly aware how vital it is – today more than ever – to be a point of engagement marked by civil discourse, thoughtful exchange, and respectful relations.
This biennial report highlights some of the Dialogue’s key contributions to recent policy debates in the Americas. Just as the Dialogue worked closely with Latin Americans to help end the civil wars that wracked Central America in the 1980s, today we are undertaking an important initiative involving hemispheric leaders to help deal with an unprecedented migration and refugee crisis and restore democratic rule in Venezuela. Continuing three decades of pioneering work on education, the Dialogue has forged a diverse network to drive a regional policy agenda for early childhood development, teacher quality, and market-driven education models that embrace new technologies. Taking a global perspective, our signature China-Latin America Finance Database carefully documents Asia’s deepening engagement with the region. The Dialogue’s innovative work in Guatemala provides financial coaching and access to micro credits, fostering local development. And our annual Clean Transport Forum informs opinion makers how the region can accelerate the deployment of electric cars to improve air quality and reduce the use of fossil fuels.
The Dialogue will continue to push for effective and pragmatic policy-making in these areas, guided by the core goals and values that have driven and nourished our work over the past 35 years—building cooperation and fostering democratic governance, social equity, and prosperity across the Americas.