The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, encouraged the region’s countries to promote a new governance with the aim of creating global public goods, such as stability in economic and trade-related growth and climate security, thereby facilitating implementation of and compliance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Bárcena gave a keynote lecture about the document Horizons 2030: Equality at the Centre of Sustainable Development, at the conclusion of the seminar Public Planning and Administration in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, organized by ECLAC in conjunction with German Cooperation agencies and held from September 26-28 at the organization’s headquarters in Santiago, Chile.
According to the Executive Secretary, the current development pattern is unsustainable, which is evidenced by the declining growth rate in production and trade, the decoupling of the real economy from the financial system, high levels of inequality, and climate change. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, approved in 2015 by the 193 Member States of the United Nations, seeks to respond to these challenges, she indicated.
“We must opt for a new development pattern. This requires changing the conversation between the State, the market and society. We need a new set of institutions and coalitions that promote policies at a global, regional, national and local level,” said Alicia Bárcena, who explained that ECLAC offers the region’s countries an analytical framework, a space for regional debate and a proposal on the means for implementing the 2030 Agenda.
Its conceptual vision is laid out in the Horizons 2030 document, presented last May in Mexico, where participants also approved the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development as a mechanism for regional follow-up to the 2030 Agenda. This Forum, which includes international organizations, States, the private sector and civil society, will hold its first meeting in April 2017 in Mexico City.
ECLAC’s Executive Secretary said that global governance should manifest itself in coordinated efforts to boost aggregate demand; the perfecting of the rules of trade, investment and intellectual property; greater regulation of the international financial system; coordination to reduce tax evasion and avoidance; the implementation of the Paris Agreement to achieve climate security; and the creation of funds for adaptation and transfers of environmental technologies.
On this path, Alicia Bárcena indicated that regional alliances should be oriented towards, among other things, developing regional value chains; applying fiscal, social and environmental standards to avoid predatory competitive practices; creating a common digital market; and agreeing to multilateral debt relief for English-speaking Caribbean countries so they are able to create a resilience fund for climate change.
At a national level, the senior United Nations official explained that ECLAC’s proposal consists of progressive structural change based on a big environmental push, with investments in strategic sectors that allow for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and accompanied by the embracing of the digital economy.
To finance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, Alicia Bárcena called for combating tax evasion and avoidance as well as illicit capital flows, which respectively represent 6.7% and 3.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the region. She also stated that 28 of the region’s 33 countries are considered middle income and have seen a notable drop in official development assistance, although private investment flows have been rising over the last three decades.