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United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, Visited ECLAC’s Headquarters and Met with UN Staff in Chile

22 November 2023|News

The global organization’s highest authority urged UN agencies, funds and programs to redouble their efforts on joint work to support the country.


The UN Secretary-General is welcomed by ECLAC's Executive Secretary
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, is welcomed by ECLAC's Executive Secretary, José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, upon his arrival to ECLAC building in Santiago, Chile (Photo: ECLAC)
Photo: ECLAC

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, visited on November 21 the central headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile for the first time, meeting with the entire staff of the organization and of the UN agencies, funds and programs that work in the country.

António Guterres was received by ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, and by the Resident Coordinator of the UN System in Chile, María José Torres Macho, who welcomed him on behalf of all staff members. Other participants in the meeting included Pamela Villalobos, President of ECLAC’s Staff Council; Loreto Flores, President of the Staff Council of the International Labour Organization (ILO); and Teresa Muro, President of the Staff Council of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The Secretary-General’s visit coincides with the 75th anniversary of this Regional Economic Commission, created on February 25, 1948 by virtue of resolution 106 of the Economic and Social Council, which gives it a special, joyful meaning for the institution.

During his time at ECLAC, António Guterres urged the 19 United Nations agencies, funds and programs in Chile to work together more to help the country define a successful strategy for development and prosperity, combating the inequalities that persist, in the framework of respect for human rights, and for solving all the structural obstacles in society and the economy. Guterres also emphasized ECLAC’s trajectory and importance as a vital pacesetter with regard to economic and social thought, and in the articulation of sustainable development policies for the region.

ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, highlighted during this gathering the two major mandates that the UN Secretary-General entrusted to him in this post: to uphold and strengthen this history of contributions and intellectual leadership, and to work closely with all the United Nations organizations and entities to support all the region’s countries, guided by their vision as expressed in “Our Common Agenda” and aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this regard, ECLAC has prioritized 11 large transformations in development models in the region that include the means of implementation in terms of institutions, financing and social dialogue in order to achieve more productive, inclusive and sustainable development.

The Secretary-General also participated in one of the commemoration and awareness-raising activities that ECLAC and the UN System in Chile carry out each year in the framework of the UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign. Launched in 2008, this initiative by the UN’s highest authority calls on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, media and the entire UN system to join forces to prevent and eliminate this true global pandemic. The theme this year is “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls.”

The gathering with the Secretary-General was part of his official visit to Chilean territory, which will also take him to the Antarctic continent to verify the impacts of climate change. He will be accompanied on that trip by Chilean President Gabriel Boric.