STATEMENT BY MR. JOSÉ LUIS MACHINEA, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF
THE ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE
CARIBBEAN, AT THE MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE ON TECHNICAL
COOPERATION AMONG DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND REGIONS
Wednesday, 30 June 2004
It is a pleasure for me to be here with you today at the opening meeting of the Committee on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries and Regions. This is an excellent opportunity to underscore the importance that ECLAC places on cooperation activities, especially those that facilitate and promote horizontal cooperation among the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
As you surely know, the technical cooperation projects and missions executed by ECLAC are an essential part of our substantive work and are conducted in direct collaboration with our member countries in the region. In carrying out these activities, the Commission meets the technical cooperation objectives of the United Nations system through projects, programmes and advisory assistance. Technical cooperation generates know-how and reinforces countries’ and regions’ capacity to promote economic and social development.
At present, the primary strategic objective of the technical cooperation being promoted by the members of the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations is to help member countries to fulfil the commitments they have made at the Millennium Summit and at international conferences sponsored by the Organization since 1992.
The Economic Commission’s cooperation activities are financed both out of its regular budget and with extrabudgetary resources. The main sources of extrabudgetary funding are bilateral contributions, which have covered 70% of the extrabudgetary expenditures made in the last biennium, and multilateral institutions, which have defrayed slightly over one fourth of these expenses. The remainder comes from contributions made by foundations, universities and private-sector agencies which complement and strengthen the scope and impact of the technical cooperation activities conducted by the Commission.
For ECLAC and for the beneficiaries of its cooperation activities, these resources are of particular importance because they enable us to address emerging issues that complement our regular programme of work.
The secretariat has been making an effort to consolidate and expand its cooperation activities, including those relating to the promotion of horizontal cooperation, in accordance with a long-standing, specific mandate to that effect. As part of this effort, we have been working towards the diversification both of contributors and of collaborators in the execution of such activities and have been seeking out new types of partnerships. Steps in this direction include the new programmatic approach which we have recently begun to apply in our joint activities with the Government of Germany. In addition, our cooperation programme with the Government of Italy has been renewed, a new programme was agreed upon with the Government of France in late 2001 and cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Commission has been strengthened. The secretariat also plans to reinforce its cooperation with other regional commissions by, in particular, taking advantage of the facilities and resources made available by the United Nations Development Account. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to these countries and institutions for the confidence granted to ECLAC in these cooperation initiatives.
Today, this committee will undertake a detailed review of the activities carried out by the secretariat during the past biennium. It will also have an opportunity to view the web site on cooperation that has recently been added to the Commission’s Internet portal. There will, in addition, be a debate on the challenges for technical cooperation which we will be facing at the regional level in the near future.
I trust that this is a propitious opportunity to renew the dialogue among the secretariat, the countries and donor institutions concerning the focus, priorities and modalities of such cooperation. It is also a magnificent opportunity to revitalize coordination efforts and exchange views, with the ultimate objective of all this being to arrive at conclusions and recommendations that will be of the utmost significance and usefulness for the work of the secretariat.
I would like to thank our cooperating institutions for their work, both in the name of ECLAC and on behalf of the direct and in direct beneficiaries of these cooperation activities.
I wish you every success in your work here today.