Ibero-American Summit 2018 Focused On Sustainable Development Group

The Ibero-American Summit took place in La Antigua Guatemala on the 15th and 16th November 2018. The motto of the summit was to encourage sustainable development in Ibero-America. One of the foremost issues focused upon was the inclusion of the Agenda 2030 and implementing the UN sustainable development goals or SDGs. All the countries involved discussed the goals to ensure a more cooperative and inclusive environment.

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The agenda was to cultivate a commonly accepted road map to achieve Agenda 2030 as well as the goals between the countries. Each of these issues has been described below in general.

1. Poverty

Poverty should be ended in all forms everywhere and steps should be taken to ensure equal distribution among people from all walks of life.

2. Eradicate Hunger

With eradicating poverty, comes the responsibility to end hunger problems and ensure food security. Sustainable agriculture and ensuring nutritious food distribution were agendas included in this goal.

3. Good Health & Wellbeing

People of all age groups should be able to ensure a healthy life for themselves.

4. Quality Of Education

Promote quality learning and enable kids to get life-long education. Stressing the importance of being educated is important.

5. Gender Equality

Empower one regardless of gender to get everything they wish for their lives. Girls/women should be able to pursue their careers freely.

6. Water Sanitation

Ensuring the availability of clean water and sustainable use of water resources. Sanitation is also an issue to be stressed upon.

7. Energy

Enable one and all to get affordability, sustainable, and affordable modern energy.

8. Economic Growth

Improving work opportunities for everyone and stable economic growth to enable the same.

9. Industrial Revolution

Foster innovation and industrialization are the key elements here. The growth of infrastructure is also important.

10. Lessen Inequality

Reduce the level of inequality prevalent among nations.

11. Communities

Communities and settlements in the cities should be resilient, inclusive, and sustainable.

12. Production

Ensuring proper and sustainable production and consumption in all nations.

13. Climate

Immediate actions need to be taken to tackle the ever-growing problems associated with the current climate changes. This is one of the most important concerns in the summit.

14. Underwater

Use all resources drawn from marine life and travel through the water-bodies in a sustainable and overcautious manner.

15. Ecosystem and Nature

Maintain a sustainable ecosystem and forests all over the world. It also includes eradicating biodiversity loss, land degradation, and desertification.

16. Society And Institutions

Sustainable and peaceful development of society, justice for all citizens, and growth of institutions at every level.

17. Partnerships

Global partnerships to achieve all goals are to be promoted.

One can also explore the existing Significant Declarations Of The Ibero-American Summit right here.

Participation In The Summits: A Broadening Horizon

Participating in the Ibero-American Summit is a big deal for most of the countries involved. There is not only one way of doing so. The Ibero-America Organization has named different forms of participation that grant diverse rights to the countries involved during the Summit. Read on to find out which the countries with full rightsare and which have a reduced action span.


Full Members

Ibero-American Summit members

Back in 1991 when the first Summit was held, there were nothing but full members. All the participant countries: Brazil,Bolivia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominican Republic,Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, México, Panamá, Perú, Paraguay,Portugal, Uruguay ,Spain and Venezuela are to this day the full members that get to give their opinion, make suggestions and decisions. By the year 2004, Andorra joined in.

Associate Members

In 2009 the Philippines and Equatorial Guinea were allowed in as Associate Members to the Summit and Organization. The participation of Puerto Rico as another associate member has not been continuous, but sporadic, since it is not a sovereign country. Countries that are not sovereign are not allowed to participate fully in the Summit.

San Salvador Consensus

cultural and language affinity

The presidents who got together for the 17th summit took on the San Salvador Consensus and created a new figure for the moment that was called Associate Observers and Consultants of the Ibero-American Conference.

Associate Observers

These are States that share cultural and language affinity with the full members of the Summit or that, according to the organism could make a significant collaboration to the region. In order to receive this degree, the voting must be unanimous. Once selected as such, this associate observer should adopt the principles and values of the Ibero-American conference fully.

The Associate Observers today are: Korea, Japan, Haiti, France, Morocco, Netherlands, Philippines, Belgium, and Italy.

Benefits Of The Associate Observers

For being an associate observer, States acquire a certain amount of obligations with the Summit, but are also granted these benefits:

  • Participate on the Ibero-American Summit with the Presidents and Chiefs of State of all the full members every two years.
  • Participate on the Conference´s Ministry and Sector reunions.
  • Participate on the National Coordinators, Chancellors, and Cooperation reunions.
  • Participate on every Cooperation activity available.

Consultant Observers

These are not countries or states, but rather non-governmental organisms that are community-oriented.

They need to have at least a section dedicated fully to this and the explicit will of adding to the strengthening, projection and promotion of the Ibero-Americas with significant contributions. Just like the Associate Observers, all the foundations, principles and values of the Ibero-American Conference need to be fully agreed upon.

Consultant observers have the right to the same benefits as Associate Observers and currently are: ALADI, CEPAL, OIM, OIT, OPS, PNUD, PNUMA, BID, CAF, PMA, FAO, FLACSO, OCDE, OECO, SELA and UL.

All members of the Ibero-American Summit and Organization need to have a common goal that is helping the region become a better place for all its inhabitants.

The Significant Declarations Of The Ibero-American Summit Throughout Its Existence

The declarations of the Ibero-American Summit have been channeled into some cultural, social and educational programs that helped millions of people. Throughout the last 25 years of existence, the world has changed a lot and the Ibero-American Summit implemented a series of changes to accompany those changes and those affected with the right actions. Read on to find out more about them.

The OISS Program

The OISS Program

This program is aimed mainly to assuring a level of Social Security, especially for the oldest. It currently protects more than 6 million people in the region and guarantees all immigrants and their families have access to their retirement pension regardless of the country of the region they are at and from. Fifteen of the twenty two full members are involved and have implemented this program subscribing to the agreement. Those are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, DominicanRepublic, Ecuador, El Salvador,  Paraguay, Perú, Portugal,Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Human Milk Banks Program

This program called iberBLH is a bold attempt to reduce infant mortality by assuring the right to human milk from birth. Also, the sharing of knowledge from each of the involved countries make the result much richer than what it would be if they worked isolated from each other.

Technology exchange is also another main aspect of the contribution and the main aspect of the bold step into the future that the program intends to take. The human milk banks are made of the milk of those mothers who produce more than the needed amount to feed their babies.

It is of common knowledge that the mother´s milk is essential in helping to the early development of children as well as reducing infant mortality.Since its approval in 2007, this program has already benefited 15 million women and reaches 1.5 million newborns every year. The involved countries in this initiative are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Putting A Roof Over Poverty

people are helping together to build their new home

The program is called “Techo” which is the Spanish for roof and makes a clear reference about what it is about: providing homes for those who don´t have one. One of the main challenges that Latin America faces is the social inequality. According to the Techo Foundation, over 104 million Latin Americans live in settlements because of poverty and lack of resources. This is not bearing in mind those who can´t even afford to live in a settlement and sleep on the streets every night.

With the help of the Ibero-American Summit and Organization as well as 1,110,676 volunteers who put their hands, and 55,806 participants in educational and working programs, the amount of 122,193 emergency houses have been built to this day in the 19 Latin American countries that are gathered in the Summit.

TheinvolvedNations are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, DominicanRepublic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay and Venezuela.

How The Ibero American Summits Have Persistently Focused On Preserving Culture Through Innovation

The preservation of the local culture in each of the full member States is paramount to create a portal to the new era. Since the first Summit, the world has changed a lot and there are some newer issues to address. Read on to see which is the program in place to tackle the innovation and creation in each country while preserving local culture.

InnovaciónCiudadana – Citizen Innovation

Children in action

The program Citizen Innovation (InnovaciónCiudadana in Spanish) was put in place to change the way that citizens of different countries approach their current problems through innovation. The idea behind the organization is to remove the passive role that has been given to societies worldwide and involve them in the creation of the means to solve their own problems. Experimenting with open technologies and methodologies, the organization attempts to apply social, digital and ancestral solutions to current problems and enhance the life of the communities in the Ibero-American region.

Labs Network

scientist inside the lab during experiments

As one of the achievements of the Ibero-American Summit, the network of Citizen Innovation is crucial to solve current problems through active innovation. The network is made of initiatives and institutions that are configured as spaces for open, collaborative, and non-competitive experimenting. The members of the community gather in these spaces to work on solutions for their own reality and do it with a different logic, with no-lucrative intention. It is not easy to find nowadays any kind of organism or laboratory that will not be based upon the consumption and selling of any kind of product. The full map of the laboratories, which are 17, can be seen here.

The Ibero-American Cooperation: Channeling Agreements Into Action

The true challenge of the Ibero-American Summit is to translate words into facts; real actions to make the Nations involved a better place for the people living in them. These are some of the initiatives that have been put to work so far.

Campus Iberoamérica

Campus Iberoamérica

On the 24th version of the Summit all members agreed upon the creation of 200,000 scholarships for students, teachers and investigators. The idea is to share the knowledge within the region and all the professionals to hold the same level of expertise and academic formation regardless of their country of origin (within Ibero-América, of course). The plan is to reach the number 200,000 by the year 2020. All the Full Members are involved in this initiative.


IberMedia is another project that translates words into action. The spirit of the project is to push the creative audiovisual content generated in the Ibero-America region to a new plateau of professionalism.

Oscar-winning films like the Argentinian “El Secreto de sus Ojos” were backed by this movement among another 1,600 great pieces of content.

This year´s San Sebastian´s Film Festival will feature eleven movies that have been backed up by this initiative. 19 of the 22 members have applied this project in their countries.

Juvenile IberOrchestras

Juvenile IberOrchestras

The spirit of this initiative is to fight violence, social exclusion and depression through music. Reaching the most vulnerable is always a matter of high priority for the Ibero-American Summit. This program is held in 14 of the 22 countries that are part of the Summit. Among some of the accomplished objectives, Juvenile IberOrchestras has made scholarships, exchanges between different countries, academic formation, integration of ethnics and visibility a way of fighting against poverty.

The Increasingly Influential Consequences Of The Ibero American Summits

Although the Summit continues to be held everytwo years, its status of importance and influence is in doubt. The appearance of other international organisms that are solely for the countries of some regions have moved the discussion of the multiple and complex issues of every region to their own, smaller version of the Summit. Read on to find out about the influential status of the Ibero-American Summits today.

Intention Of Rebirth


Most specialized media published the idea of the Ibero-American Summit losing its weight because of the embarrassing lack of presidents that attended to the Paraguay version in 2011 and the Panama one in 2013. Those years, the amount of presidents and heads of state attending was as little as half of them. According to El Pais, this could be the side-effect of the creation of the UNASUR and CELAC, which are the Union of South American Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States respectively. These organisms were created to attend the common issues of their member countries much like the Ibero-American Summit, but in a smaller version. They do not include any European countries and are strictly aimed to helping each other solve regional problems.

Because of these bad experiences, Rebecca Grynspan, the Ibero-American General Secretary started her role on April 2014. She assumed with a clear objective: to make the Ibero-American Summit an interesting and powerful tool again. She is the first woman to take over the role and since she did, there has been a revitalization effect in the organism. According to El Pais, she is decided to turn the Organization and the Summit to a status of relevance that will make it an instrument to change the reality of the involved countries and an attractive meeting for the leaders to discuss important measures again. She believes that the organization can be of weight and relevance in its own context of collaboration with the European part.

The Influence


While it is true that the reputation of the Ibero-American Summit and the Organization behind it are not what they started being, the aforementioned organizations UNASUR and CELAC are born with the Ibero-American model in mind. The concept of getting together to make common ground and solving issues that are relevant for all members come from the first summit´s document that laid the foundations for all that came afterwards. With that in mind, it is safe to say that the influence and legacy of the Ibero-American Summit lives on in the numerous organisms that have formed since.

Regardless of how many more editions of the Summit will be held in the future, the original aim of changing the world to make it a better place lives on in the form of other organisms and global consciousness.