Forward Together/Avanzando Juntos/Avançando Juntos – A Conference Looking at the Changing Politics of the Americas

On April 11, 2011, Forward Together/Avanzando Juntos/Avançando Juntos recognized that the hemisphere is entering a new and exciting period. The day opened up with a terrific speech by Dan Restrepo on the Administration’s vision of working with Latin America and the Caribbean as equal partners based on mutual respect and shared values.  Because President Obama’s recent trip to Latin America put a spotlight on El Salvador, Brazil and Chile, NDN/NPI hosted representatives from each country to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities of their respective countries. NDN/NPI also had the privilege of having Juan Carlos Lopez from CNN en Espanol joining the roundtable, augmenting the conversation by discussing his interview with President Obama while in El Salvador.  These first two sessions touched on NDN/NPI’s vision that while parts of Latin America continue to suffer from inequality, many countries have become rising powers on the global stage, with greater levels of development and prosperity than ever before.

Roberta Jacobson from the State Department’s Western Hemisphere Bureau offered her thoughts on how to move forward with US. Foreign policy towards Latin America, with a special focus on regional citizen security partnerships. Ambassador Sapiro, Deputy USTR, wrapped up the morning by discussion the Obama Administration’s ongoing work with the Government of Colombia, which will lead to greatly enhanced labor rights in Colombia and clear the way for the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement to move forward to Congress. After an afternoon of fascinating conversation on the 21st Century Border Initiative, LAPI Board Member, Governor Bill Richardson closed the day with a powerful speech on inter-American relations. Richardson presented innovative ideas for enhanced cooperation focused on inequality and poverty reduction.

The 21st Century Border portion of the day focused first on the perspective of a Mayor who lives and works with a Mexican Border. Mayor of Nogales Arturo Garino was joined by Chappell Lawson, Associate Professor of Politics at MIT. Following their conversation, Maria Luisa O’Connell, Senior Advisor for Trade and Public Relations Office of the Commissioner US Customs and Border Protection at DHS, led a roundtable panel discussion how a 21st Century Border is essential to prosperity in both the U.S. and Mexico. While this panel was designed to discuss infrastructure and commerce along the border, the conversations quickly dovetailed into discussions on the interconnectedness of America's and Mexico's economies and how the real solution to so many of the problems along the border can be solved with a federal comprehensive overhaul of our immigration system.

The NDN LAPI Board of Advisors and team are very proud to have hosted a policy day exploring the reality that the US now has the second largest Latin population in all of the Americas. There is little doubt that these new Americans will help turn our focus to the South in the years ahead. 

Video of speech by Dan Restrepo, Transcript of the speech.
Transcript of panel discussion on The Changing Politics of America
Video of speech by Roberta Jacobson, Transcript of the speech.
Video of speech by Ambassador Miriam Sapiro, Transcript of the speech.
Video of speech by Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, Transcript of the speech.
Transcript of speech by Governor Bill Richardson

An agenda and pictures are below.

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM        
Continental Breakfast

10:00 AM – 10:05 AM      
Welcoming Remarks

Nelson Cunningham, Chairman of the Latin American Policy Initiative

10:05 AM – 10:45 AM      
Remarks on President Obama’s Trip to Latin America

Dan Restrepo, Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council

10:45 AM – 11:45 AM      
Panel Discussion on the Changing Politics of the Americas

Moderated by Juan Carlos Lopez, Anchor and Senior Correspondent CNN Espanol
Ambassador Francisco Altschul, Ambassador of El Salvador to the United States
Ernesto Araujo, Minister Counselor for Economic and Trade Affairs at the Brazilian Embassy
Rodrigo Meza, Minister Counselor of Economic and Trade Affairs at the Chilean Embassy

11:45 AM – 12:15 PM      
Moving Forward on U.S. Foreign Policy with Latin America

Roberta Jacobson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs

12:15 PM – 12:45 PM      
Recent Developments Relating to the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

Ambassador Miriam Sapiro, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative

12:45 PM – 1:30 PM
The 21st Century Border Initiative
Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Working Together to Create a 21st Century Border: A Mayor's Perspective on the US-Mexico Border
Chappell Lawson, Associate Professor of Politics at MIT
Arturo Garino, Mayor of Nogales Arizona

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM   
Growing Together: How a 21st Century Border is Essential to Prosperity in Both the U.S. and Mexico
Moderated by Maria Luisa O’Connell, Senior Advisor for Trade and Public Relations Office of the Commissioner US Customs and Border Protection, DHS 
Martin Rojas, Vice President of Security & Operations, American Trucking Association
Jim Kolbe, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund
Col. Eric Rojo, Vice President of U.S.-Mexico Chamber Of Commerce and Security Program Coordinator for CEDAN-ITESM

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM   
Governor Bill Richardson, Former Governor of New Mexico and Chairman of APCO Worldwide's Executive Advisory Service Global Political Strategies







Event Date: 
Monday, April 11, 2011 - 5:30am