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ECLAC's Committee of the Whole Successfully Concludes Process of Consultations for the Creation of the Sustainable Development Forum

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29 April 2016|Press Release

The Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, participated in New York in the gathering that was attended by ambassadors from the Member States and Associate Members of the United Nations regional organization.


ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena (left) along with Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra.
ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena (left) along with Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra.
Photo: ECLAC.

ECLAC's Committee of the Whole successfully concluded on Thursday, April 28 in New York the process of consultations carried out under Peru's leadership for the creation of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, and agreed to transmit this resolution for consideration to the delegates who will participate in the regional organization's thirty-sixth session, which will be held from May 23-27 in Mexico City.

This new inter-governmental entity, which will function under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), seeks to establish the framework for regional and subregional monitoring of follow-up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to report to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development that was created by the United Nations General Assembly, among other tasks.

The meeting of the Committee of the Whole, which was attended by 32 delegations, was presided by Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru's permanent representative to the United Nations, in his role as President of the Committee, who led the negotiations and consultations on the Forum that lasted several months.

During her speech, Alicia Bárcena recognized the important work carried out by Ambassador Meza-Cuadra as well as the countries' backing of the Forum's creation.

ECLAC's Executive Secretary gave the ambassadors a detailed report on the activities that are planned for the organization's next session, which will be held in Mexico, where that country's President, Enrique Peña Nieto, will participate in the inauguration.

This is ECLAC's most important meeting, which takes place every two years and where its 45 Member States and 13 Associate Members define the institution's work program for the next two-year period. Meanwhile, the Committee of the Whole, which meets in New York, is one of the organization's subsidiary bodies that allows governments to discuss relevant topics between each biannual session.

In New York, Alicia Bárcena gave the ambassadors a preview of the main proposals in the document that ECLAC will present in Mexico, entitled Horizons 2030: Equality at the Center of Sustainable Development, which aims to orient the process of regional development in the coming years in light of the commitments assumed as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The text was well received by the ambassadors, who highlighted its opportuneness and relevance given countries' need to overcome the current recessionary phase with a long-term view centered on the equality of rights and environmental protection.

Horizons 2030 is part of a series dedicated to the matter of equality published since 2010. That year ECLAC launched Time for Equality: Closing Gaps, Opening Trails; in 2012 it released Structural Change for Equality: An Integrated Approach to Development; and in 2014 it was the turn of Compacts for Equality: Towards a Sustainable Future.

Alicia Bárcena emphasized that the current development model is unsustainable, which means that structural changes are needed to reverse growing inequality and environmental deterioration. “There is a sense of urgency and a political consensus that can help drive a new development pattern,” she stressed.