One Foot in Front of the Other: Annual Conferences of the Americas

In May the Council of the Americas held its 36th Washington Conference on the Americas. In June the Organization of American States held its 36th General Assembly.

“Our annual Washington Conference is the premier event in the nation’s capital focusing on the
Americas and has consistently brought together senior corporate executives with the highest level of
speakers,” says the report from the Council of the Americas, a David Rockfeller organization.

“In [this year’s] final declaration [of the OAS general assembly], the delegations of 34 OAS member states called on the Secretary General . . . to promote the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to facilitate the participate of citizens in public life, thereby strengthening democratic governance.”

But remember, just because one event follows the other, we should never infer causality. Still, we like this paragraph from the Washington conference that has Wolfowitz and IBM collaborating on reasons to take poverty reduction seriously:

Working together with government, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz stressed the role of the
private sector as an important engine for development. IBM Americas General Manager Marc
Lautenbach provided first-hand examples of a
corporation that prioritizes investment in people. In an
increasingly globalized, technology-oriented world,
companies such as IBM recognize their obligation to
bridge the digital divide and help create opportunities for those that otherwise would have been excluded. But, not only does poverty reduction help people it also makes plain business sense. According to the World Bank a 10% drop in poverty levels increases economic growth by 1%, so “growth and poverty reduction should be seen as part of the same problem, and, therefore, as part of the same solution.”

Blogged by Steven Clift at DoWire.Org

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