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OAS, World Bank discuss Caribbean outlook
WASHINGTON DC, United States—Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) José Miguel Insulza believes one of the main challenges of the region is building more inclusive societies.
Insulza made the statement at the 55th Lecture of the America where he focused on the Economic and Social Outlook for Latin American and the Caribbean. The OAS Secretary General also reflected on Development and Social Inclusion, the central theme of the next General Assembly of the body, to be held in Paraguay in June.
“The theme of this year’s OAS General Assembly provides an impetus to complete and approve the Plan of Action of the Charter and make this instrument a powerful tool for sustainable and inclusive development,” he said.
The OAS leader, on one hand, highlighted the economic growth of Latin America and the Caribbean in the last decade, which allowed for a 50 per cent growth of the middle class, made up of some 150 million people, but also warned that despite this growth, Latin America and the Caribbean continues to be one of the most unequal regions in the world.
He said inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean has its roots in the colonial history of the hemisphere, and that it is accentuated by the inequality in access to essential public goods such as education. The President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim, who also made a presentation, focused on the need for “inclusive economic growth” in the region to respond to the growing demands of the population.
“The governments of the region are, in part, victims of their own success,” said Kim, adding that “they’ve achieved a great deal in terms of fostering growth and reducing inequality. “Yet, precisely because of this success, citizens are now asking for more than ever before, and pressuring governments to respond,” he said. In order to grow, Kim said the region must be more productive, innovative and adaptable.
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