UNESCO virtual roundtable to examine challenges posed by COVID-19 to Latin America and the Caribbean

The impact of the health crisis caused by COVID-19 is dramatic and, according to data from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the region will see a 9.1% drop in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, which represents a ten-year regression in per capita income.

To analyze the economic, but also the political and health challenges of the crisis, UNESCO is convening an online roundtable discussion on 10 September (5 to 7:30 p.m. Paris time). The debate will focus on issues of public policy with a view to reducing social inequality, boosting employment, serving the most vulnerable, maintaining social cohesion and restoring health and welfare.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, will open meeting, to which the public will be invited to contribute questions via chat, The Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Cuba to UNESCO, Yahima Esquivel Moynelo, will also be present.

Invited panellists will take part with interventions limited to seven minutes to save time for interaction with the public. Notable panellists include: Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador (Guatemala), Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Professor at the University of Coimbra (Portugal), Abel Prieto, President of Casa de las Américas and former Minister of Culture of Cuba, Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology, Columbia University (USA), Simone Cecchini, Director of the Social Development Division of ECLAC, Pablo Gentili, Secretary of Educational Cooperation and Priority Actions of Argentina, and John Antón, Professor of Higher National Studies of Ecuador.

UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Human and Social Sciences, Gabriela Ramos, will close the debate, which will be summarized by UNESCO’s Representative in Guatemala, Julio Carranza.