(5 March, 2014) The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) is finishing preparations for its thirty-fifth session, which will take place May 5-9 in Lima and where it will present a new position paper that will give continuity to its last two reports, focused on equality.
The Peruvian capital will host this meeting in accordance with an agreement signed on September 16, 2013, in that city, which specifies the commitments made by both parties to organize this international gathering.
On January 17, the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena, held a preparatory meeting with Peruvian Foreign Affairs Minister Eda Rivas, in which they discussed the fundamental issues that the regional United Nations organization will address in May.
These sessions constitute the organization's most important biennial meetings and are attended by its 44 member states and 12 associate members, as well as representatives of the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations.
During the meeting, countries will have the opportunity to discuss the region's economic, social and environmental development, examine the activities carried out by the Commission during the previous biennium and set priorities for the work agenda for the next two years.
As at every session, ECLAC will present a main document that analyzes the major development issues in the region.
On this occasion, the document to be unveiled will deepen the line of inquiry explored in the last two reports: Time for equality: closing gaps, opening trails, presented in 2010 in Brazil, and Structural Change for Equality: An Integrated Approach to Development, from the 2012 session in El Salvador.
In the first document, ECLAC put equality-understood not only as access to opportunities but also as respect for individuals' economic, social and cultural rights-at the center of a development agenda based on a new state-market-society equation that benefits the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The organization also contended that it is necessary to grow to boost equality, but also to boost equality to grow. The goal is to grow with less structural heterogeneity and more productive development and to even the playing field by harnessing human talent and mobilizing the state, a decisive actor in this agenda for development with equality.
In 2012, ECLAC highlighted that structural change is the path to grow with equality in the region, through a qualitative transformation of the productive structure that promotes and strengthens sectors and activities that are more knowledge-intensive and that enjoy fast-growing demand, so more and better jobs can be created.
The United Nations regional commission insisted on the need to create a new state-market-society balance that includes fiscal and social pacts, which provide legitimacy and resources to this process of structural change. ECLAC emphasizes that politics must be the instrument and equality the goal of this structural change.
In the document to be presented in May, ECLAC will analyze these issues more profoundly. In addition, another report will be released during the session in the framework of a seminar on Challenges to Regional Integration, which will also be held in the Peruvian capital.
For further questions, please contact ECLAC's Public Information Unit.
E-mail: prensacepal.org; Tel.: (56 2) 2210 2040.