Ambassador Bethel represents The Bahamas at the VII Italy-Latin America and Caribbean Conference
The Italy-Latin America and Caribbean Conference, organised every two years by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in collaboration with the Italian-Latin American Institute (IILA) and the other bodies and institutions that comprise the Consultative Committee set up at the MFA in Rome has, since its first meeting in Milan in 2003, represented a key forum for encounter between Italy and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Conference is the main political event of the year as regards to Italy’s relations with the Latin American Region, particularly in cultural and commercial sectors. This Conference was increasingly important as a result of the overall number and high level of attendees, including the new invitation to Caribbean Representatives to participate, a sign of the renewed vitality in the dialogue between Italy, Latin America and the Caribbean. Four heads of state, fifteen Latin American and Caribbean Foreign Ministers, and heads of major international regional organisations and development banks were in attendance and met with Italian political and business leaders.
There were a number of major issues on the Agenda of this year’s Conference, which offered leaders of the joining countries the opportunity to discuss common challenges including urban planning, infrastructure development, emergency response, security, inclusion policies and counter-organized crime, youth unemployment and inequality. The theme for the VII Italy-Latin America and Caribbean Conference, reflected the importance of cooperation to influence and eventually effect change on these relevant issues. It is envisaged that through cooperation, Italy, Latin America and the Caribbean can encourage a new globalization geared towards sustainable development and shared prosperity as well as a new vision centred on human beings, respect for differences and peaceful dialogue.
Ambassador Bethel addressed the Conference at the Closing Session inside the Italian Pavilion at Milan EXPO, where he spoke on three high priorities for The Bahamas: the environment, fighting crime and containing illegal immigration.
The VIII Italy-Latin America and Caribbean Conference will be held in Rome in the Autumn of 2017.