The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, met on Friday, April 8, at the Palacio San Martín—which is the seat of Argentina’s Foreign Ministry in the city of Buenos Aires—with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Susana Malcorra, with whom she reviewed the joint work agenda between the United Nations regional organization and the Argentine government.
This agenda includes, among other points, collaboration with the Interior Ministry on the analysis and design of territorial development policies; the construction of indicators for technological performance with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation; the revision of “buy national” legislation with the Ministry of Production; support for the design of information systems with the Ministry of Social Development; and cooperation with provincial governments, which includes in various cases support in designing their strategic production guidelines.
On this opportunity, Foreign Minister Malcorra indicated that “ECLAC is an institution that is very dear to Argentines’ hearts, which has shaped the Latin American model and its thinking in terms of economic and social analysis.”
Bárcena, meanwhile, highlighted the progress achieved by the South American country in economic matters, as well as the importance of protecting those most vulnerable.
Looking towards the future, the Argentine Foreign Minister and ECLAC’s Executive Secretary agreed to put emphasis on issues related to regional integration, including the subject of trade, stressing the policies of productive integration that ECLAC considers to be essential for the sustainable and inclusive development of the region’s countries. In that vein, officials will aim to identify the potential of MERCOSUR vis-à-vis the region and other extraregional blocs, in order to stimulate other economic and social dimensions of integration.
At the press conference that the two officials gave after the working session held with their respective technical teams, Susana Malcorra and Alicia Bárcena underscored the 42 consecutive years of cooperation between ECLAC and the Argentine Republic, ratifying the importance of the agenda of development and productive diversification with a broadening of rights that ECLAC has historically promoted as key to the inclusive transformation of the region’s countries.
“We have a common work agenda with ECLAC on many issues that the government is launching at this time, which range from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to economic integration and the evaluation of how we are positioned on the major matters of financing and social development,” Malcorra said.
Alicia Bárcena was accompanied by Mario Cimoli, Director of ECLAC’s Production, Productivity and Management Division and Officer-in-Charge of the International Trade and Integration Division, and Martín Abeles, Director of ECLAC’s Office in Buenos Aires.
At the end of the session, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary met with René Mauricio Valdés, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Argentina, to exchange impressions about the organization’s role in the country in light of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.