Recent developments in Latin America

24 June 2010

Lord Liddle made his maiden speech in a debate on recent events in Latin America on Thursday 24 June

Lord Liddle is the chair of the Policy Network, a role he has held since 2009. The Labour life Peer was economic adviser to the European Commission president until October 2007, and has been a government adviser on Europe.

In his opening remarks Lord Liddle said making his maiden speech in a debate on Latin America may surprise some people, but it was his belief that ‘all politics is global’ and the ‘task was to build a new politics of sustainable globalisation.’ His interest in Latin America has its origin in his work in Government and continues through links the Policy Network has with a number of Latin American countries.

Lord Liddle said Latin America had made remarkable political, social and economic progress in the past ten years. He referred to what he described as ‘governments of progressive Latin America’ coming to ‘terms with the market and shown how they can redistribute its rewards in progressive ways.’

Lord Liddle also spoke about opportunities for European influence in relation to the interest of Latin American countries in ‘the possibilities of regional integration.’ There was a need to recognise that ‘as nation states alone, we have limited power in the new world that is emerging.’

Also under discussion in the debate were:

  • overseas trade with Latin American countries
  • relations between Latin American countries
  • deforestation, climate change, renewable energy resources and carbon emissions targets
  • the UK’s economic, parliamentary and governmental relations with Latin American countries
  • human rights, poverty, and economic and democratic participation
  • indigenous peoples.

Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (Crossbench), former director of cosmetics company Yardley, which has close links with Latin America opened the debate.  He has served as a patron and chairman of various Anglo-Latin American organisations, including the Anglo-Argentine Society and Canning House, the Hispanic and Luso Brazilian Council.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Howell of Guildford responded on behalf of the Government.

Further information

The term ‘maiden speech’ refers to the first time a new Member gives a speech in the House of the Lords. A maiden speech usually takes place during a general debate and is uncontroversial.

Image: Policy Network

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