His Majesty King Felipe of Spain presided over the 19th annual Ibero-American Forum in Madrid this week, gathering together with politicians, intellectuals and social leaders from the more than 20 countries which comprise the Ibero-American area to “promote reflection and debate on the most important challenges that are common to Latin America, the Portuguese-speaking community in the United States, Portugal and Spain”.
Speaking at the event, His Majesty said that “Spain will continue, of course, fostering this special relationship with Ibero-America, bilaterally, of course… also counting on the friendship mechanism, dialogue and cooperation of the Ibero-American Summits, which are the maximum multilateral expression of the Ibero-American Community of Nations”.
He also stressed that “a relationship as rich as the one that unites us to Europeans and Ibero-Americans is not limited to dialogue between political leaders. The relations between various representatives of civil society in both regions are increasingly deeper”, and it is “business and academic meetings, institutional relations at all levels and forums such as the one that brings us together here tonight, multiply, and that constitute an essential instrument for diagnosing problems and proposing solutions to challenges shared by two geographically distant regions [which are] nevertheless, very close”.
Speaking of this year’s meeting, King Felipe highlighted the fact that the focus would be on “key issues of our current reality, such as the digital revolution, education or the media” and adding that “digitisation is already an irrefutable fact, because our interaction with the world and with each other is totally influenced by technology. Therefore, it is necessary to promote a humanistic dimension to confront these changes and challenges with confidence and solvency. We cannot allow technological changes to progress without being asked about the ethical impact of their effects, because what is in question are essential values of the human.”
During his visit the King attended a screening of a film focused on Mexican writer and intellectual Carlos Fuentes. He was accompanied by “the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Josep Borrell; the Ibero-American General Secretary, Rebeca Grynspan; the former president of the Government, Felipe González; the mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena; and the co-presidents of the Ibero-America Forum and former presidents of the Republics of Brazil and Chile, Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Ricardo Lagos” among other guests.