Next June, Latin America will twice be the focus for policy decision-making on global challenges. The G20 presided over by Mexico and the Rio+20 summit led by Brazil will tackle economic growth and sustainable development.

Governments responsible for organizing G20 and Rio+20 cannot act alone. They need the active engagement of other stakeholders to achieve their goals and propose appropriate and implementable public policies.

G20, a self-appointed group, aims to address financial regulatory reforms, adjustments in international financial institutions and growth recovery with job creation. Due to the recent economic prospects, the group is likely to focus on containing the European crisis.

Rio+20, which includes delegations of most established nations, provides legitimacy to create values and build up priorities for action. Economic growth with social inclusion and environmental protection are at the centre of the agenda.

Brazil and Mexico are confronted with a historical responsibility to ensure meaningful achievements in both meetings. For example, building on the progress of climate negotiations in Cancun and Durban could promote a cohesive and timely approach to enhance complementary achievements in both G20 and Rio+20 meetings.

The World Economic Forum on Latin America will bring together decision-makers from government and industry as well as leaders from civil society and academia. Most Latin American countries, major economies and other regions are represented. Their aim is to shape a strategic vision for the region’s inclusive growth and align stakeholders around a vision to inspire its realization. Mutual trust and joint framing of the issues are prerequisites for such an endeavour.

In this sense, cooperation between Brazil and Mexico should prevail over rivalry. Cooperation here is defined as a situation where parties working together produce new gains unreachable to each individually, at a cost. At stake is the ability of the region to deliver results to face up to global challenges.

How can the leaders from business, civil society and academia gathering in Puerto Vallarta overcome rivalry and stimulate cooperation among Latin American countries? How can leaders generate a more conducive synergy between G20 outcomes and Rio+20 results?

If a regional transformation in Latin America is to be fostered in a new global context, then acting now on those challenges might be the only way to enrich current and future generations.

Author: Jacques Marcovitch, Professor, University of São Paulo, Brazil, and Member of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Latin America 

Pictured: Soybean plants are seen at a drought-affected farm in Argentina. In the agricultural heart of the country, one of the largest exporters of food products, farmers are attending daily to the deterioration of their crops due to lack of rain caused by the La Nina phenomenon which has impacted much of Latin America. Picture taken January 4, 2012. REUTERS/Nicolas Misculin