Friday, March 9, 2012 · The New School · New York
Erika Paredes Sánchez, of Ecuador, has a Masters in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), in Geneva, and currently works for the government of Ecuador, with a focus on the Yasuní-ITT environmental initiative.
Previously, she worked in the Office of the United Nations Programme for Development in Quito as a Development Capacity and Assistance Effectiveness consultant, and as Analyst for the Monitoring and Evaluation Program. She is co-author of the book, The Application of PNUD/ART Methodology Governance and Local Development in Latin America.
Erika Paredes Sánchez dedicated her two weeks at The New School to deepening her research on The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) at the onset of a socio-regional integration, an organization of which Néstor Kirchner was the first Secretary General.
Seminars with the The New School Community
On Wednesday, February 29, Erika presented her research during her first official seminar for professors and students from The New School. Erika’s feedback included suggestions to improve on an applicable theoretical model for the integration of countries within the unique South American context. This was followed by an engaging debate on the complexities of regionalism, sovereignty, and integration. This seminar was attended by the President of The New School, David E. Van Zandt; members of the Observatory on Latin America Margarita Gutman, Michael Cohen and Amanda Goodgoll; Professors from The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs (GPIA) Alberto Minujín, Robert Buckley, Terra Lawson-Remer, David Gold, Barry Herman, Everita Silina, Chris London; Roxana Maurizio, Fellow of the Research Council of Argentina CONICET; Christian Proaño, Assistant Professor of Economics, New School for Social Research; and graduate students Daniella Battista, Emily Miller, and Ross Miranti.
The Second Seminar, held on March 6th, was attended by Alberto Minujín, Michael Cohen, Margarita Gutman, Bob Buckley, and Everita Silina. During this exchange, Erika presented her findings from interviews held during the preceding week. The attendees worked together with Erika to refine her hypothesis, regarding UNASUR and the process of integration in South America.
Interviews and Visits in New York
Beyond her activities within The New School, Erika interviewed with distinguished personalities from the academic world and from multilateral institutions located throughout New York City. She met with Pablo Pinto, School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University; Walter Schuldt, Mission of Ecuador; Eduardo Gálvez, Ambassador of Chile; Mauricio Font, Bildner Center, City University New York (CUNY); and Minister Mateo Estreme, Deputy Permanent Representative of Argentina to the UN; Oscar Fernández-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs; José Antonio Ocampo, SIPA; Albert Fishlow, Columbia Institute of Latin American Studies; Neil Grabois, Dean, Milano School of International Affairs; Professors Margarita Gutman and Sanjay Ruparelia, The New School; and Heraldo Muñoz, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Director for its Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Public Lecture by Mauricio Santoro Rocha and Erika Paredes Sánchez was held on Wednesday March 7th, in the Orozco Room at The New School.
After the welcome by Margarita Gutman, Director of the PNK Fellowship for OLA, the program was introduced by David Scobey, Executive Dean of The New School for Public Engagement. The Fellows were then introduced by Ambassador José Luis Pérez Gabilondo, Consul General of Argentina in New York.
Erika presented her work “The Union of South American Nations: At the onset of a socio-regional integration.” Her analysis focused on the characteristics of this unique regional block, and the challenges facing South American integration. Erika responded to questions regarding UNASUR’s role in defending natural resources; the tension surrounding the protection of human rights; the future of UNASUR in relation to unilateral tendencies of countries like Brazil; UNASUR’s stance on the war against drugs; and the technical mechanisms for integration within UNASUR.