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President Abinader receives Americas Society Award for regional leadership

President Luis Abinader received the Chairman’s Award for Leadership in the Americas during the 54th Americas Society/Council of the Americas meeting on 8 May 2024 in Washington, DC.

President Abinader received the award from Andres Gluski, president and CEO of the AES Corporation and Chairman AS/COA. Gluski highlighted that the prize was created in 2004 to recognize democratically-elected leaders who have made a strong positive impact on regional democracy and governance. He spoke of how the DR is open for business and the private sector is responding attracting new business and foreign investment, while the country has a strong regional voice, evidence of which is that the DR will host the 10th Summit of the Americas in 2025.

In 2021, President Abinader started the Alliance for Development in Democracy (ADD) working with Costa Rica and Panama. It was at a time when the DR seemingly did not feel represented by the Central American bloc of nations (SICA). It was a time when several Central American governments were taking actions to curtail democracy in their countries.

The ADD initiative would eventually garner the support of the United States in April 2022. During the 9th Summit of the Americas in California, Ecuador would also sign on to expand the alliance south.

The US Congress is now reviewing the Americas Act that would unite democratic countries in the region and provide incentives to democratic countries, a step forward from the intent behind the ADD started by President Abinader in 2021.

Indeed, in his acceptance speech of the award, President Luis Abinader highlighted the Dominican people’s strong support to democratic elections has made a difference and since 1978 when Don Antonio Guzman (father of the current Dominican ambassador to the United States Sonia Guzman) was President, there have been 12 elections.

Abinader spoke of actions of his government to foster the combatting administrative corruption and more transparency. He spoke of the country’s achievements and moving up to be the seventh economy in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the second most visited in Latin America and the Caribbean, only after Mexico.

He spoke of how the worsening of the decades-long crisis in Haiti on the west side of the island of Hispaniola has “drained the resources that are needed for Dominican development.” He expressed hope the advances towards peace in Haiti, be followed with an investment plan to provide Haitians access to education and health in their own country.

He said the challenges he takes on are to meet the objectives of the 20-30 Agenda, end poverty, zero hunger and reduce inequalities. He said he will spearhead actions to advance in quality of education to enable the Dominican Republic to compete in the knowledge economy, jail reform to complement the police reform already underway, and a fiscal pact that enables redistribution of taxes with more equity while increasing collections to meet objectives of the national development strategy.

He ended his speech with his strong support to multilateralism and the global challenge to protect the planet and advance in the use of artificial intelligence to meet individual and collective challenges in a more effective manner.

“At the end of the day, what is most important is to bring ethics to those in power in government, the only real path for humanity in the 21st Century,” concluded President Abinader.

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9 May 2024