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IDB sponsors meeting on ethics and development in Central America, Sept. 1-3 in Honduras

The Inter-American Development Bank will hold an international seminar on "Ethics and Development: The New Challenges" in Tegucigalpa Sept. 1-3, to enrich the dialogue on these issues in the Central American Isthmus.

Participants in the meeting, co-sponsored by the IDB, the Presidency of Honduras and the Government of Norway, will include distinguished church and civil society leaders, academics, international experts, and representatives of the public and private sectors in Central America.

The seminar will be inaugurated Sept. 1 at 5:30 p.m. by Honduran President Carlos Flores; Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Madariaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa; IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias; Jan Erik Leikvang, senior advisor of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Pablo Schneider, President of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration president.

The event is also sponsored by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). The Andean Development Corporation (ADB) and both the National University and the Catholic University of Honduras will co-sponsor the meeting.

Participants will identify highly relevant issues for public policy design and for participation by the private sector and civil society organizations, and they will try to reach conclusions on the ethical responsibilities of different sectors of society.

In the opening session on Sept. 2 the meeting’s main objectives will be presented by Helge Semb, the IDB representative in Honduras; and Bernardo Kliksberg, general coordinator of the IDB ethics and development initiative.

Successive panels will analyze different visions of the relationship between ethics and the economy; ethical challenges in the health, education and environment sectors; and ethical concerns for action in the areas of childhood, ethnic groups, and human rights.

On Sept. 3 deliberations will focus on the ethical responsibilities of different sectors of society and on strengthening the culture of solidarity.

The speakers will include the Costa Rican Vice President, Astrid Fishel; the rector of the Pedro Hurtado University of Chile, Father Fernando Montes; the vice-minister of Education of Guatemala, Demetrio Cojti Cuxil; the director of Casa Alianza in Costa Rica, Bruce Harris; the president of the International Association of Ethics and Development, David Crocker; ADB Sustainable Development Director María Teresa Szauer; and the dean of the Political Science Faculty of the Universidad Javeriana of Colombia, Father Javier Sanín.

Other participants will be the El Salvador Labor Minister, Jorge Nieto Menéndez; the dean of the University of Buenos Aires Economic Sciences Faculty, Carlos Aníbal Degrossi; the rector of the Andres Bello Catholic University in Venezuela, Father Luis Ugalde; and the director of the Getulio Vargas Foundation Public Administration School in Brazil, Blanor Scelza Cavalcanti.

Kliksberg will present the conclusions of the meeting and will launch the Inter-American Initiative on Social Capital, Ethics and Development, prepared under the auspices of the Norwegian government.

This initiative will catalyze efforts of diverse public and private organizations in the region in areas such as volunteerism and ethics and corporate responsibility.

The meeting will also serve to establish a network of academic centers to strengthen the initiative. The directors of fourteen such centers in Latin America, Europe and the United States will attend the meeting.

Over the last two years the IDB has held meetings on ethics and development in Chile during the Bank’s annual meeting last March; in Washington, D.C.; and in Venezuela and Uruguay. These meetings attracted wide interest and helped to better establish ethics on the international agenda.

The September meeting will take place at the CABEI’s Tegucigalpa offices.

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