Ambitious Ibero-American conference takes off in Mar del Plata
The coming XX Ibero-American summit which opens next Friday in Mar del Plata, Argentina will have as main objective a commitment from the 22 country members to invest 76 billion Euros in education during the next decade.
“The driving force, ‘education for social inclusion’ should become Latinamerica’s most important effort in helping the region take off in an area where it is lagging considerably”, said Enrique Iglesias, Secretary General of the Ibero-American organization.
The program also includes a solidarity fund to compensate the poorer countries with resources from the richer members. Funds are also expected from banks and private corporations which should be signing their commitments during the Mar del Plata meetings.
The plan should concludes in 2021, anniversary of the last independence bicentennials celebrations of the region and by then “we hope all Latinamerican countries should have their education budgets growing at the medium expansion rate for the region (over 4%), which will more than comply with the 76 billion Euro commitment”, explained Iglesias.
The summit expects leaders from 19 countries of the region plus Spain, Portugal and Andorra, six associate observers and 9 consulting observers. Argentina currently holds the pro tempore chair of the Ibero-American conference, and is supported by Portugal that organized the previous meeting and Paraguay that is scheduled to host the conference in 2011.
As happens in these gatherings other out of agenda are expected to be addressed among which building a consensus for the nomination of a Unasur secretary general; analyzing the current financial situation in the Euro zone; the Wikileaks; regional cooperation; democracy and governance; ending the trade embargo on Cuba and Argentina’s claim over the Falklands and South Atlantic Islands and surrounding maritime spaces.
Most Latin American leaders have confirmed attendance as has the King of Spain Juan Carlos but not President Rodriguez Zapatero who is totally absorbed with the announcement this week of business confidence building programs in an attempt to prop the Spanish economy.