To think we can lower our guard and diminish our drive for reform would be an unforgivable mistake.” As an institution devoted to development, the IDB must focus on priority issues, taking a long- term view. In his message to the board of executive directors, which represents the bank’s 48 member countries, Moreno listed some of the biggest challenges the region faces, issues that will determine the institution’s working agenda over the coming years. Increasing productivity is one of the region’s strongest imperatives. Among the problems hindering its progress are the poor quality of education, in sufficient spending on scientific research and techno logical development, and a big backlog in terms of infrastructure.
“ Although investments have increased in recent years, they are still not enough to put us on a par with other emerging economies,” Moreno emphasised.
In terms of social policy, Moreno said Latin America and the Caribbean should not lose their capacity to innovate in social programmes, or to take on issues such as informal employment. The region should also learn the lessons from the European crisis, such as the need to build financially sustainable social security systems, including pensions and health care programmes. Another challenge the region must address is the fight against violence, crime, and corruption, Moreno added. Countries should also strive to set a sustainable development agenda in light of climate change. “ Regardless of the difficulties in reaching a global consensus, we can show the rest of the world that the people of Latin America and the Caribbean are capable of progressing responsibly towards the adoption of sustainable approaches,” he said.