Ministers and senior authorities from governments in the region along with representatives of civil society and the academic world will participate on October 25-27, 2017 in Montevideo, Uruguay in the Second Session of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, where they will analyze the dual challenge of social and economic inclusion.
The gathering, organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and Uruguay’s Ministry of Social Development, will be held in conjunction with the IX Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is in charge of.
During the conference, ECLAC will present the position document Linkages between the social and production spheres: gaps, pillars and challenges, which will address questions such as the critical issues for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the importance of social policies focused on rights throughout the life cycle, and the articulation of policies for social and economic inclusion, with a view to eradicating poverty and significantly reducing the multiple dimensions of social inequality in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
On July 31, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, and Uruguayan Social Development Minister Marina Arismendi signed the agreement that established Montevideo as the site of the conference, highlighting the host country’s demonstrated commitment to social protection policies. They made special mention of the implementation of the National Integrated Care System, which covers children from 0 to 3 years of age, people in situations of dependency and caretakers.
As part of preparations for the conference, the government of Uruguay – with the support of ECLAC and other agencies in the United Nations System (in particular ILO, UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF) – organized a seminar and three national dialogues in the months of July and August. (See related article).
The Regional Conference on Social Development is one of ECLAC’s nine subsidiary bodies. It was created in 2014 with the objective of promoting the improvement of national social development policies and international, regional and bilateral cooperation in the social sphere, as well as of making progress on the measurement of the diverse dimensions of the poverty, inequality and structural gaps that persist in the region.
At the first meeting of the conference, which was held in November 2015 in Lima, Peru, ECLAC presented the document Inclusive social development: The next generation of policies for overcoming poverty and reducing inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean. A year later, during the first meeting of the conference’s Presiding Officers, held in the Dominican Republic, the Commission released the study The social inequality matrix in Latin America.
The conference deliberations will be conveyed to the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, which constitutes a new regional mechanism to follow up and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Forum, which is annual in nature, was held for the first time in April 2017 in Mexico.