12th Sol M. Linowitz Forum

“Agenda 2020: Hemispheric Cooperation in Uncertain Times”

Thursday, June 27    Residence of the Ambassador of Colombia, Francisco Santos

6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Welcome Reception  
  Remarks: Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)


Friday, June 28       The Willard InterContinental Hotel     

8:30 – 12:30 p.m.


Plenary Sessions (Willard Room)


8:30 – 8:45 a.m.


Welcoming remarksLaura Chinchilla, Thomas Shannon, Michael Shifter


8:45 – 11:00 a.m.

Briefing: US Policy toward Latin America


Chair: Carla A. Hills

Speakers (each appearing separately): 

Elliott Abrams, Special Representative for Venezuela, US Department of State

Landon Loomis, Special Advisor for the Western Hemisphere, Office of the US Vice President

Chad Wolf, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary and the Assistant Secretary for Strategy, Policy, Analysis, and Risk, US Department of Homeland Security

Eric Jacobstein, Senior Policy Advisor for Western Hemisphere, US House Committee on Foreign Affairs

11:00 – 12:30 p.m.

Plenary Session I: Democratic Disruption


Chair:  Shannon O’Neil

Across the Americas, corruption, crime, and economic stagnation are fueling citizen discontent with the political class and with democracy itself. Support for democracy in Latin America is at its lowest since 2001, and leaders who vowed to shake up the system with little regard for traditional norms now govern the hemisphere’s three largest countries. The cases of Venezuela, and more recently Nicaragua, serve as reminders that democratic means can be hijacked for authoritarian ends, and expose the shortcomings of the inter-American framework for safeguarding democracy. This session will identify constructive responses to the causes and consequences of democratic disruption in the Americas.

Resource: Michael Camilleri, Program Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law


12:30 – 1:45 p.m.


Lunch – Unprogrammed


1:45 – 3:15 p.m.


Plenary Session II:  The Role of Latin America and the United States in the Venezuela Crisis



Chair: Pierre Pettigrew

Outside Expert:  Carlos Ayala, Vice President of the International Commission of Jurists

Venezuela’s democratic, economic, and humanitarian crisis grows ever deeper, and its regional consequence ever more manifest. Juan Guaidó’s powerful emergence in early January and his consolidation of substantial domestic and international support raised hopes for a peaceful, democratic transition in Venezuela. But the regime of Nicolás Maduro remains entrenched in Caracas, and the steps taken by the international community—whether efforts to splinter Maduro from his allies, asphyxiate the regime economically, or coax the Maduro and Guaidó factions toward negotiations—have thus far fallen short. This session will examine the current and potential future roles of Latin America and the United States in addressing the crisis in Venezuela and offer constructive recommendations.

Resource: Michael Camilleri, Program Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law


3:15 – 4:30 p.m.


Plenary Session III: Climate Change: Is a Regional Approach Possible?



Chair:  Alicia Bárcena

Outside Expert: Amy Myers Jaffe, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment, Council on Foreign Relations

Recent scientific reports indicate that the need to act swiftly and decisively to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change is even greater than previously thought. Latin America is already suffering consequences, as unpredictable weather creates agricultural instability and accelerates migration trends. This session will assess the prospects for regional and global cooperation on climate change. It will probe opportunities for Latin American nations to lead in clean energy and other sectors and discuss forecasts for climate change impacts and how Latin American and Caribbean countries can collaborate on efforts to increase resilience.

What are the prospects for the world to transition to clean energy and avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change? In what sectors do we need to see the most transformational changes? Which countries will take the lead and what role will Latin America play?

What are the forecasts for climate change impacts and how are they expected to affect Latin American countries?

Resource: Lisa Viscidi, Program Director, Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries           


4:30 – 6:00 p.m.


Plenary Session IV: Migration Crisis: Caribbean, Central America, Venezuela



Chair:  Doris Meissner

Outside Expert: Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute

In addition to the United States, at least five Latin American countries are hosting more than four million new migrants, including Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans. Most host countries have never experienced such an influx of refugees and now confront serious policy challenges.

New migration patterns are creating widespread tensions, ranging from extreme xenophobia, to border disputes and public intolerance of migration. Host countries must also deal with the visa status and social integration of new migrants.

This session will illuminate the complex causes and effects of migration in the hemisphere with a focus on why the challenge is becoming more urgent. What are realistic proposals for action to most effectively assist both sending and receiving countries? Is there a role for inter-American cooperation?

Resource: Manuel Orozco, Program Director, Migration, Remittances & Development          


7:00 – 9:30 p.m.

Cocktails and Dinner Conversation
Inter-American Dialogue                                  


“US Politics: Election 2020 and Beyond”


Karen DeYoung, Associate Editor and Senior National Security Correspondent, The Washington Post


Susan Glasser, Columnist, The New Yorker

Ron Elving, Senior Editor and Correspondent, NPR News


Saturday, June 29    The Willard InterContinental Hotel

9:00 – 12:30 p.m.


Plenary Sessions


9:00 – 10:30 a.m.


Plenary Session V: Latin America’s Shifting Role in the     Global Economic Landscape



Chair:  Enrique García

Outside Expert: Augusto de la Torre, Former Chief Economist for Latin America, World Bank

The US-China trade war shows few signs of abating, with implications not only for the world’s top economies but also a slew of potential setbacks for countries in Latin America and other regions. Latin America’s growth projections have been cut in recent months based not only on G2 competition, but also on policy uncertainty throughout the region and the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. China’s engagement continues at relatively high levels but remains largely focused on extractives, promoting a process of “re-primarization” in South American economies, with troubling implications for the region’s long-term development prospects. Amidst trade tensions and other global economic restructuring, how can Latin America best engage with the rest of the world to enhance its own economic position? What is the impact of China’s continued engagement and growing US-China competition on the region’s economic outlook? How can the region’s vulnerabilities to external shocks be reduced?

Resource:  Margaret Myers, Program Director, Asia & Latin America


10:30 – 12:00 p.m.


Plenary Session VI: The Dialogue: Looking Inward & Moving Forward in Times of Uncertainty



Chair:  Roberta Jacobson

This session will focus on the role the Dialogue can play in the future considering the changing global environment. Is there still a place for the kind of collective cooperation the Dialogue has embodied and promoted since its founding?

Going forward, who are the key stakeholders the Dialogue should engage to promote its mission? What are the implications of this for the Dialogue’s membership and partnerships?

Are there new opportunities (how we conduct our work, the countries we focus on, the agenda we cover) the Dialogue should explore to better leverage its convening power and influence across the hemisphere to shape a positive agenda?

Resource: Ariel Fiszbein, Program Director, Education


12:00 – 12:30 p.m. Wrap-Up: Synthesis of Forum/Discussion of Policy Report