FIU Hosts OAS/MDC Forum for Mayors from the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia and the U.S.

On December 3, 2013, the Latin American and Caribbean Center and the Institute for Public Management and Community Service of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) co-hosted scholars, political analysts and mayors from Colombia, Central America, the Caribbean and the United States to discuss sustainable development in the Americas. FIU’s partners were the Permanent Missions of the United States and Colombia to the Organization of American States (OAS), the General Secretariat of the OAS and Miami Dade County.

John F. Stack, Jr., Executive Director of the School of International and Public Affairs and Francisco Mora, Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center, joined U.S. Ambassador to the OAS Carmen Lomellin and OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development Sherry Tross to provide a platform to examine challenges, recommend solutions, and share best-practices with governmental leaders from the region.

As a lead up to the UN’s World Urban Forum 7 (WUF7) scheduled for next April in Medellin, Colombia, the conference –“Towards Sustainable and Resilient Communities in the Americas” — initiated a partnership program to encourage cooperation, the exchange of knowledge, and implementation of best practices related to municipal development, economic opportunity, and democratic governance. Factors critical to effective city management — citizen engagement, technology, smart energy, waste management and reduction of vulnerabilities — were topics addressed during the open forum by FIU experts. Participants included Dr. Allan Rosenbaum, Director of the Institute for Public Management and Community Service and a faculty member of SIPA’s Department of Public Administration, as well Dr. Howard Frank, Dr. Milena Neshkova, and Dr. Sukumar Ganapati of the Department of Public Administration.

During his keynote address, FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg emphasized education as being foundational to development, sustainability and governance and also noted the challenges that arise when education is not supported at the level necessary for societies to be globally competitive.