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Developing a new social contract in Latin America

Developing a new social contract in Latin America | IE School of Global and Public Affairs

Susana Malcorra and Rebeca Gryspan discuss the effects of COVID-19 in Latin America, and how the region can move forward.

Susana Malcorra, Dean of IE School of Global & Public Affairs, spoke to Ibero-American Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan about COVID-19 in Latin America. The development expert offered her insight on the effects of the pandemic as well as necessary actions for the region’s recovery.

Serving as Ibero-American Secretary-General since 2014, Rebeca Grynspan’s impressive career also includes job titles like Vice President of Costa Rica and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

How COVID-19 is affecting Latin America

Grynspan cites three main areas where the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Latin America. The first is the deepening of structural deficits in the region, which is causing more inequality, poverty and economic informality.

The second is a regression in women’s rights. “Women have been one of the hardest hit groups of the pandemic,” she says, which has resulted in less economic empowerment and a rise in gender-related violence.

The third is an accelerated need for a new social contract in Latin America. If the region stands a chance at confronting the world’s challenges, she argues, it cannot continue with its current levels of deficit and inequality.

How to move forward

Grynspan also outlines key actions to take in order to advance Latin American society. The first is a vaccination program and the development of a universal health service. “This is a deficit from the 20th century,” she explains. “And we have not been able to overcome it.”

The second is placing an emphasis on education. She says that in order to make sure the next generation is adequately prepared for the future, we must find a way to keep young people in school.

Lastly, Grynspan says that taxes must be raised in order to establish a new social contract, but it’s crucial that taxpayers are on board. These priorities will help Latin America push through the effects of the pandemic.

Watch their full discussion in the video: