Latin America and the Caribbean is a middle-income region, which has failed to consolidate middle-class societies. It is a region characterized by high inequality, fragmented social contracts, low productivity and growth, little trust in public institutions, and fiscal weakness.

It is in this context that COVID in the region quickly went from being a health crisis to an economic one and, in some cases, even a governance crisis. As with the effects of the virus on organisms with pre-existing medical conditions, the pandemic interacted in some Latin American and Caribbean countries with structural deficiencies threatening decades of development progress. As a systemic crisis, it also requires a systemic solution for those countries.

Moving toward productive, inclusive, and resilient societies that can return to and overcome their pre-pandemic trajectories, and that are prepared to face subsequent shocks, requires a three-lane road. This path consists of effective policies for productivity, inclusion and resilience. These three lanes, which are interconnected and cannot advance without each other, are pathways through which the region can recover from the effects of the COVID crisis and move towards its aspirational horizon: the 2030 Agenda. Countries to advance in these three lanes will be determined by effective governance.The 2020 Ministerial Forum, “Beyond Recovery. Towards a new social contract for LAC” will explore the road to recovery in LAC.

The proposed roundtables will focus on three critical areas for recovery: social protection and fiscal systems; inclusive digital transformation; and effective governance. These are areas where concrete and decisive actions by governments begin to emerge, and the roundtables will present good examples as well as what remains to be done.