The former Ibero-American Secretary-General of the SEGIB, Enrique V. Iglesias, analyses the changes in the international juncture during a conference organized by the Foundation

The European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation organised the conference “The Challenges of a Change in Time”, given by the former Ibero-American Secretary-General and Prince of Asturias Award winner, Enrique Valentín Iglesias, on Friday, 16 March, at the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences of Badajoz.

The conference dealt with the changes in the international juncture and its demands on what to do as well as with national and international policies, and Enrique V. Iglesias has defined the concept of “Pax Americana” as the period after Second World War until present time under the Unites States’ geopolitical hegemony.

This, he assured, has given way to one of humanity’s brightest periods, where an increase in population, a growing life expectancy and an unparalleled democratic and social development at global level has been achieved. He states, however, that there are current forces that are eroding this “Pax Americana” so that it may possibly come to an end and thus lead us to a new time for humanity.

He has pruned down these forces to several factors as the emergence of a new middle class whose expectations are frustrated; the transfer of geopolitical power from West to East; the decline of the United States as a world power in favour of China and the crisis of representative democracy may be.

In order to face this new time of uncertainty, he has stressed the key role of Education, Equality and Politics as a guarantee to progress in a globalised world.

The talk is included in Aula Euro Iberoamérica, a programme launched by the Foundation so that Extremaduran university students may finish their academic training with the contributions made by experts in different social, economic and cultural areas, among others.

The Counsellor of Culture and Equality, Leire Iglesias; the Director of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, Juan Carlos Moreno Piñero; the Academic Director of this institution, César Chaparro; the Vice-rector for Academic Planning of the University of Extremadura, José Luis Gurría Gascón; the Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences, Julián Ramajo and the former President of the Regional Government of Extremadura, Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra, have attended the event.


Enrique Valentín Iglesias was born in Asturias and has Uruguayan nationality. He has a degree in Economics and Administration from the University of the Republic of Uruguay, and carried out specialisation studies in the United States and France.

From 1961 to 1965 Iglesias was the Director of the Comisión de Inversiones y Desarrollo (CIDE) –Investment and Development Commission-, which prepared the first Economic and Social Plan for Uruguay. In 1967 he was elected First President of the Central Bank of Uruguay (1967-1968).

He has been professor of Economic Development and Director of the Institute of Economy of the University of the Republic of Uruguay and has written numerous articles, essays and books on Latin American and Uruguayan economy, capital markets, external funding and multilateralism.

From 1972 to 1985 he was Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations (CEPAL) and the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy that took place in Nairobi (Kenya) in 1981.

He was appointed Foreign Affairs Minister of Uruguay (1985-1988) by the new democratic government that emerged after several years of military dictatorship in the country, serving as president of the Ministerial Meeting that initiated the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT), in Punta del Este (Uruguay) in 1986; negotiations that led to the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the successor organization to the GATT.

He was the President of the Inter-American Development Bank from 1988 to 2005, which is the oldest and largest development regional bank. In 2005, he was appointed Ibero-American Secretary-General, a newly created position he held until 2014.

In 2003 the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, appointed him member of the High Level Group which published the report “Un mundo más seguro: la responsabilidad que compartimos” –“A Safer World: the Responsibility We Share”- , dealing with the challenges of world peace and security as well as the UN’s reform. Iglesias was also member of Kofi Annan’s High Level Group for the Alliance of Civilisations.

At present, Enrique Iglesias is in charge of the Latin American Chair of the Comillas Pontificia University-ICADE, he holds the presidency of the Productivity and Competitiveness Council and is the Director of the “Pensamiento Iberoamericano” magazine.

Enrique Iglesias has been awarded the title of doctor honoris causa by ten American and European universities and has received numerous international honours and awards, such as: the Prince of Asturias Award, the Grand Cross of the Order of Isabel the Catholic, the Legion of Honour of France, as well as the highest honours from Latin American countries.