A seminar and three national dialogues were held in July and August in Montevideo, Uruguay as part of the preparatory process for the Second Session of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which will take place on October 25-27, 2017 in conjunction with the UNDP’s IX Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
On July 31, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, and Uruguayan Social Development Minister Marina Arismendi signed the agreement establishing Montevideo as the site of the conference and participated in a seminar where the challenges to social protection in Latin America and the Caribbean’s current economic context were analyzed.
Subsequently, on August 3, 17 and 23, three national dialogues were held, organized by the government of Uruguay with the support of ECLAC and other agencies in the United Nations System, in particular the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
These preparatory national dialogues were structured around different reports, specially produced for the occasion, which addressed some of the main thrusts of the position document that ECLAC will present at the Conference, entitled Linkages between the social and production spheres: gaps, pillars and challenges.
The first dialogue addressed the relationship between the productive structure and social development in countries; the second was centered on the challenges to social policy in childhood, families and the life cycle; and the third analyzed the institutional standing of public policies in Latin America and the Caribbean using the question: Are we prepared to move toward achieving the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)?
The three national dialogues were summarized by a consultant who produced diverse documents that reflected the governmental discussion regarding the proposed core themes.
Created in 2014, the Regional Conference on Social Development is one of ECLAC’s nine subsidiary bodies. Its main objective is to promote the improvement of national social development policies as well as international, regional and bilateral cooperation in the social sphere. Its deliberations are conveyed to the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, which is the regional mechanism to follow up and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Conference will bring together government authorities and representatives of civil society and the academic world to exchange experiences and debate about the challenges to social protection and the dual challenge of economic and social inclusion in the region, among other topics.