Fukuyama in Peru: Redistribution of wealth is essential

The greatest challenge to democracy in Latin America is to try to provide socio-economic solutions through consensus, according to Francis Fukuyama. The problem, he says, is the popular trend today of using methods that are not necessarily democratic.

The author of The End of History and The Last Man, a member of the U.S. Presidential Council on Bioethics, and a professor at Johns Hopkins University, Fukuyama was in Lima Oct.9 as the keynote speaker for a Latin American conference on The Social Agenda of Democracy.

Fukuyama, 56, noted that although social inequity in Latin America is one of the most serious worldwide, progress over the past 10 years proved that “you don’t need a populist, radical or revolutionary program” to achieve great social changes. He stressed, however, the importance of a good social agenda and non-politicized, sustainable programs.

The conference was organized by the Global Center for Development and Democracy, founded by Peru’s ex-president Alejandro Toledo with several of his former cabinet ministers, to create a dialogue between former presidents and leaders in the region on the need for a social agenda for South and Central American nations.

Fukuyama warned strongly of the grave economic consequences that could arise in Latin America if leaders continued to ignore the fact that social exclusion is the seed of conflict and populism. “The redistribution of wealth is key,” he said, adding that it is fundamental to improve the quality of education at every level.

Other speakers included the former presidents of several Latin American nations, including Fernando de la Rúa of Argentina, Ernesto Samper of Colombia, Carlos Mesa of Bolivia, Gustavo Noboa of Ecuador, Ricardo Maduro of Honduras, Rodrigo Carazo of Costa Rica, Hipólito Mejía of the Dominican Republic, Vinicio Cerezo of Guatemala and Nicolás Ardito of Panama. Vicente Fox of Mexico and Fernando Enrique Cardoso of Brazil were unable to attend but sent prerecorded presentations.

The conference was sponsored by Stanford University, the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, and the Andean Development Corporation, CAF.
Fukuyama - oct 09

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