The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, reiterated today the organization’s commitment to continue accompanying the region’s countries in the analysis and proposals for a way out of the emergency and a transformative recovery, during a session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2021, focused on listening to the messages coming from the distinct regions of the world.
The senior United Nations official participated in the segment entitled “Messages from the Regions: Harnessing the regional dimension to support post-COVID-19 recovery and accelerate the attainment of the SDGs.” Participating along with Alicia Bárcena were Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE); Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA); and Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Speaking on behalf of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean was Rodolfo Solano, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, in that nation’s capacity as Chair of ECLAC and of the Fourth Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, held on March 15-18, 2021. Solano presented the main conclusions and recommendations from that regional platform’s latest gathering.
In his remarks, the Foreign Minister stressed the importance of strengthening political coordination and regional cooperation, and he reviewed the main activities spearheaded by ECLAC’s Chair, such as the preparatory events ahead of the Forum, and the different issues addressed during that meeting.
He informed the other participants that the primary outcome of the Forum on Sustainable Development was the adoption of conclusions and recommendations, a solid document that includes an important assessment taking stock of the ongoing process for implementation and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda, along with the crisis prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, he recounted the presentation of the annual report Building forward better: Action to strengthen the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was prepared by ECLAC.
In her remarks, Alicia Bárcena highlighted that the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development has become an invaluable space for discussion, learning and multi-stakeholder dialogue on the region’s efforts to address the impact of the pandemic and, above all, on solutions for emerging from it.
“We have urgently called for a collective and solidarity-based response to ensure equitable access to vaccines, liquidity and concessional finance. We have also reaffirmed the commitment to the 2030 Agenda as the road map for a transformative, greener recovery, with more equality and based on people,” Alicia Bárcena stated.
She added that during the Forum, driving sectors for sustainable development were emphasized, including the energy transition, electromobility, the circular economy, digital inclusion and nature-based solutions, among others.
ECLAC’s Executive Secretary recalled that the fourth meeting of the Forum drew the participation of 1,300 people from 33 countries; 24 UN agencies, funds and programs; 400 representatives of civil society; and 40 private-sector companies.
“Thanks to Costa Rica’s efforts, history was made with a unanimous political declaration that calls for redoubling efforts, taking up different development and financing measures, including the FACE initiative, to go beyond GDP per capita. We also analyzed the impact of the policies applied by countries and the major challenge of implementing the 2030 Agenda, because we are not going to be able to achieve more than 2/3 of the SDGs,” she affirmed.
Furthermore, she highlighted that Latin America and the Caribbean has presented 35 voluntary national reviews from 24 countries to the High-level Forum, adding that 11 more are due to be presented in 2021.
Finally, Alicia Bárcena thanked Foreign Minister Rodolfo Solano for his great leadership, “and the government of Costa Rica for its dedication and tireless collaboration for carrying out ECLAC’s activities this year.”
“We have the great challenge of continuing with fiscal policies and achieving equality,” she concluded.