Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou made a virtual appearance at the IX Summit of the Americas after canceling his trip following a positive COVID-19 test, during which he spoke about democracy and his commitment to preserving the environment, while stressing his support for a more open and connected world.
This summit has talked about democracy, which is not only when one elects a government, Lacalle said. He added that several countries in Latin America unfortunately are far from democratic security, not only in the electoral processes but also in the basic rights of every citizen.
The Uruguayan leader said democracy for him was also about the separation of powers, the possibility to protest, to have free expression and to criticize a government and rulers must generate certainty in this regard.
Economic security is also important, he continued, which is what allows us to bring prosperity to our people and serves as the basis for the possibility of countries to develop. The prosperity of the people, he maintained, he measured in another way:
Some years ago I read a different concept to the gross domestic product, which is the inclusive wealth index, which goes beyond the economic issue; this is how I try to measure prosperity, not only focused on the economic aspect.
Lacalle also underlined Uruguay was a great producer of naturally sustainable food, reaffirming his country's commitment to caring for the planet and the environment. It does not only make mitigation practices on human actions. Today we also have to talk about green and environmental finance. Those finances should have a bonus for those countries to access credit and comply with certain environmental parameters that are necessary at a global level. Those countries that also take care of their natural resources should have access to credit to carry out this important task, Lacalle insisted.
Regarding global affairs, Lacalle called for a more connected and open world, assuring that Uruguay was willing to go that way and that it needs other blocks and countries to act accordingly. Let us hope that all the good things said during these days, all the good intentions, are translated into reality. If these summits and meetings remain a dead letter and do not have a positive impact on these societies, we will not have made any progress, the Uruguayan President stressed. We come to this summit as we have come to the others, betting on multilateralism, also betting on bilateral relations,” he added.