The XXVIII Ibero-American Summit Ends with Agreements on Environment, Food Security, Digital Rights and International Financing


With a declaration at the highest political level focused on strengthening the Ibero-American Community, the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in the Dominican Republic under the slogan “Together for a just and sustainable Ibero-America”, closed its doors.

During the meeting, the Declaration of Santo Domingo, the Program of Action of the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit and the III Quadrennial Action Plan of Ibero-American Cooperation (PACCI) for the period 2023-2026 were approved, as well as 16 special communiqués with proposals in the economic, social, sustainable energy or for the recovery of the tourism sector.  among other topics.

Likewise, the Santo Domingo Summit leaves as a legacy the approval at the highest political level of three key instruments for the future of the region:

-“The Ibero-American Environmental Charter”.

-“The Critical Path to achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Food Security in Ibero-America”.

-“The Ibero-American Charter of Principles and Rights in Digital Environments”.

Agenda for a sustainable and inclusive recovery

The Heads of State affirmed that Ibero-America needs to advance in a post-COVID recovery that leads to reducing inequalities and at the same time aligns the region’s commitments with the global development agenda. The instruments adopted at the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit—and explained below—are of key importance in this way, since, as the Declaration of Santo Domingo recognizes, they are “challenges that cannot be addressed in isolation.”

With regard to the environmental challenge, under the premise of common but differentiated responsibilities, the “Ibero-American Environmental Charter” constitutes a common reference to face global environmental challenges that have a particularly harsh impact on Ibero-America, such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, pollution, soil degradation, scarcity of water resources, among others.

Similarly, the “Critical Path to achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Food Security in Ibero-America” proposes actions to face the great impact of the current crises on agri-food systems to prevent hunger from intensifying in the region and guarantee the right to adequate food for all people.

According to the Declaration of Santo Domingo, this strategy “will help to work together on regional food security”, strengthening open, free and non-discriminatory trade, developing inclusive and resilient agri-food supply chains and consolidating family farming, among other measures.

In the field of digital transformation, the Ibero-American Charter of Principles and Rights in Digital Environments, also approved by the Heads of State, becomes a reference to guide the updating of national regulations so that “the construction of the information society is centered on people” and human rights are protected in the digital environment.

Likewise, for current technological progress to expand access to rights, Ibero-American countries agree to reduce inequalities and close the digital divide, promote access to affordable and quality connectivity, promote secure digital environments that guarantee privacy, develop actions to combat disinformation and promote the free choice of services and digital content,  among other measures.

The Declaration of Santo Domingo also approves at the highest political level the III Quadrennial Action Plan for Ibero-American Cooperation (PACCI) 2023-2026, which strengthens regional cooperation action with new areas to accelerate the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, just seven years before its implementation deadline.

In this sense, the Heads of State highlight the strategic potential of Ibero-American cooperation to promote relations with other regions and create synergies with more actors in international cooperation.

In the economic field, a Special Communiqué on the International Financial Architecture was approved, which calls for structural reform of international financing conditions to expand access for low- and middle-income countries to financial resources for sustainable development.  The text underlines the need for innovative financial instruments, with conditions that facilitate sustainable borrowing to mitigate the effects of climate change and adaptation to it.

Similarly, the Declaration of Santo Domingo underlines the commitment to mainstreaming gender equality and equity in all the activities of the Ibero-American Community, as well as the inclusion of the gender perspective in all the agreements reached at this Summit.

Strengthening Ibero-America

During his speech before the Heads of State and Government, the Ibero-American Secretary General, Andrés Allamand said that the strategic objective of his administration will be “Strengthen the Ibero-American Community” which in his words, “implies maintaining Ibero-America as a privileged space for dialogue, political articulation, consensus and cooperation”.

To consolidate this Community of countries, Allamand highlighted three fundamental pillars: 1) the generation of rights, 2) the creation of opportunities and 3) the incorporation of new actors.

Precisely in the line of incorporation of new actors, during the XXVII Summit the admission of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) as a consultative observer of the Ibero-American Conference was also approved, thereby reinforcing a group of 18 high-level international and multilateral organizations and 12 countries from all continents (associate observers) that enhance the international projection of Ibero-America.

This incorporation also reflects the firm commitment to bilingualism as a transversal axis for all the work of the Ibero-American Community and all the agreements of this Summit, as established in the Declaration of Santo Domingo: “Bilingualism is a distinctive characteristic and a common heritage of Ibero-America in a context of linguistic diversity of extraordinary value.”

Finally, the Ibero-American Secretary General highlighted the fact that 22 countries maintain fully in force “a unity that does not crack in the face of differences” and that they decide to join efforts “for the benefit of their peoples and so that their voice is heard strongly in the international arena (…) No one can deny that together we are doing better,” he concluded.

At the end of the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit, the Pro-Tempore Secretariat of the Ibero-American Conference was transferred to Ecuador, which will host in 2024 the XXIX Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, to be held in Quito, under the slogan “Innovation, inclusion and sustainability in Ibero-America”.

Source: Ibero-American General Secretariat.

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