On Thursday, February 25th the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies cohosted the third iteration of the Latin American Security Forum with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Over 450 individuals from Washington and from around the Hemisphere logged on for this year’s conference, titled “Latin America in the World Order: Stepping Up” which focused on themes relevant to today’s security environment: security and cooperation, health security, regional dynamics and great power competition, as well as climate change and energy dynamics. Over the course of the event 10 subject matter experts gave their thoughts and fielded questions from the audience during four panels, as well as a keynote address given by Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzón, current Ambassador from Colombia to the United States and former Minister of Defense.
- Panel I, Political Order and Disorder: Implications for Regional Security and Cooperation, opened with panelists voicing the recognition that COVID-19 has created and exaggerated problems for the region, while stressing that navigating these issues while maintaining and increasing cooperation are critical for regional success.
- Panel II, In Sickness and In Health: Regional Health Security, panelists agreed that it is crucial the international relations community continue the conversation on how to recover from the levels of inequality that have become more severe due the pandemic, as well as cementing the connection between regional health and building a safer and secure world.
- Panel III, Regional Dynamics and the Great Power Competition: Discussed the motivation, strategy, and tactics of several external actors in the region, as well as emphasizing our need to reframe competition as a way to look for opportunities for collaboration on shared challenges.
- Panel IV, Pressing On and Powering Up: Climate Change and Energy Dynamics in the Region, highlighted the availability of a large quantity of energy resources in Latin America, while simultaneously emphasizing that the region itself may not be ready to adapt to a shift towards renewable energy resources.
Drs. Fabiana Perera and David Spencer, both members of the Perry Center faculty, participated in this event, as a panelist and moderator, respectively.