On Wednesday, May 26, the panel 'Challenges, role and potential of Triangular Cooperation in the fight against COVID-19’ was presented within the framework of the 2021 LASA Congress. The event marked the 39th edition of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Congress, the largest international congress on Latin American issues, with more than 6,000 registered participants in this year’s edition. The panel was organised by the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), together with the European Union (EU). The event was also attended by renowned scholars from the University of Barcelona (UB), Spain, from the Centro Universitário Euro-Americano (UNIEURO) in Brazil, and from the University of Quilmes in Argentina.
The panel addressed the fact that the global crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the world as we once knew it. Despite the many uncertainties, some certainties have also emerged, highlighting that the only possible way out of this crisis is a global response, and requires the combined efforts of everyone to address the pandemic. In other words, this calls for greater multilateralism and more cooperation for a world that neither can nor should 'leave no one behind’.
Part of the challenge is how to make the shift towards the type of cooperation that can bring together the multitude of experiences and capacities of the different actors involved, and offer shared solutions to tackle the crisis while also staying firmly committed to sustainable development. In this scenario, it was important to analyse the role and potential of such an innovative modality as Triangular Cooperation, widely recognised as a means of implementing the 2030 Agenda to address this multidimensional and global crisis we are now facing.
Therefore, the panel was structured around a global perspective, analysing development cooperation in the post-pandemic context and Triangular Cooperation as an innovative tool in Latin America to tackle COVID-19. Within this perspective, the experience of a multilateral actor such as the European Union and the case of the ADELANTE 2 Programme was presented, along with the response of the Federal Government of Brazil in tackling the pandemic, as well as the example of the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires; highlighting both the great potential and challenges for local governments.