Mexico, in its capacity as Chair of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, ratified today the region's commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and reaffirmed the importance of multilateral agreements such as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the New Urban Agenda, in its presentation at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) of the main conclusions and recommendations issued at the regional meeting created to monitor the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the first session of the ministerial segment of the HLPF held in New York, Francisco Guzmán, Chief of Staff of the President of Mexico and Executive Secretary of the National Council for Sustainable Agenda, listed the most important agreements established in the first meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, which took place April 26-28 of this year in Mexico City under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The fact that between 2016 and 2017, fourteen countries of the region are presenting their Voluntary National Reviews (VRNs), “reflects our region’s commitment to this global follow-up and monitoring mechanism and, above all, our commitment to ensuring no one gets left behind,” underscored the Mexico representative.
“We recognize that governments hold the greatest responsibility when it comes to implementing the 2030 Agenda,” at the same time that “we stress the potential of the private sector to shift patterns of consumption and production toward more sustainable models,” Guzmán added. In accordance with the inclusive focus of the 2030 Agenda, upcoming meetings of the Forum will include participation by members of civic organizations, academia and the private sector, he remarked.
The representative from Mexico emphasized that for the countries of the region, “gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are crucial in order to fulfill all the SDGs,” as well as official development assistance, climate financing and South-South cooperation.
In parallel, Guzmán sustained, Latin American and Caribbean countries recommend doubling efforts to reduce illicit financial flows, in particular tax evasion and corruption; they urge the States Members to neither enact nor apply financing or trade measures unilaterally that may be incompatible with international law; and call upon the United Nations to, in consultation with international financing institutions, create sustainable development progress indicators that go beyond per capita income and recognize all the dimensions of development.
Finally, the Mexican official pointed out that, “on behalf of Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico recognizes and appreciates the support from ECLAC toward the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We also value the contribution and support provided by the United Nations system, international organizations and the programs with a presence in the countries.”
The panel took place after the opening ceremony of the ministerial segment of the HLPF, which was attended by United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres; the President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson; and the President of the Economic and Social Council, Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, as well as special guest, Jeffrey Sachs, Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
Following his remarks, Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, gave a presentation in the side event, The Role of Business at the Local Level: Innovation and multi-stakeholder action to advance the 2030 Agenda, organized in conjunction with the United Nations Global Compact and the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations.
Bárcena reminded attendees that at the regional forum held in Mexico, representatives from the private sector had actively participated and presented some of the strategies they use in their businesses that favor sustainable development, social inclusion and public well-being, from the integration of the SDGs in their business plans and their progressive alignment with business performance indicators to concrete initiatives, such as free online training, financial education, the promotion of entrepreneurship, the fostering of gender equality and innovative technological projects applied to health and smart cities.
The ECLAC senior representative underscored the importance of having “institutional arrangements and appropriate incentives to generate virtuous public-private partnerships in order to meet the SDGs,” especially in areas such as the data revolution (with the opportunity to use big data to measure the SDGs) and in specific sectors, such as transportation, water and waste management, energy efficiency and gender equality.
ECLAC will continue to promote public-private dialogue under this renewed focus within the framework of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development to be held annually, concluded Bárcena.