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Response to the world crisis.

DURING VARIOUS MEETINGS, conferences, and expositions on the subject, the OAS and its member states recently analyzed the world economic crisis and debated the impact it would have on the hemisphere.

The topic was the subject of debate in a session of the Lecture Series of the Americas, in which the president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, and the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno, each spoke about the challenges the crisis presents for the region.

Also, in the month of January, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Barcena, spoke to the plenary of the OAS Permanent Council, made up of representatives of 34 member states and warned of the need to redefine the role of the State and its participation in the reactivation of the process of economic growth.

Barcena said that in order to apply counter-cyclical fiscal policies, it would be necessary "to redefine the role of the State in the twenty-first century," as well as the interaction of the State with the market and with citizens "so that the actions of the State will be truly at the service of development."


"There was a time when financial and economic growth was confused with development," she said. "Now is the time to reorient our thinking in the region. It is not an easy thing to do, especially when the train is already in motion, but we at ECLAC believe that at least three questions must be asked: What is the new role of the State in relation to public finances and the macroeconomic cycle? What is its role in public spending and allocation of resources? And what should it do to achieve increasing levels of equity and environmental sustainability?"

For his part, Robert Zoellick encouraged the countries of the region to work to turn the current challenges into opportunities. Luis Alberto Moreno urged the adoption of medium and long-term measures and highlighted the importance of investing in education. The president of the IDB believes that "education is of vital importance, and the region is not providing its youngest generation with the training that it needs for the twenty-first century. In a global economy where information is the primary engine of progress, basic literacy is not a sufficient base for personal development, much less for the development of a country."

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Author:Cattivelli, Adrian
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Geographic Code:0OAS
Date:Mar 1, 2009
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