Today will make it ten years since the Library of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago has been named after Hernán Santa Cruz, a Chilean diplomat who proposed the creation of ECLAC in 1947 and was a member of the Drafting Committee of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Library sees the 10th Anniversary of this baptism as both an honour worthy of celebration and a period for reflection.
On 18 December 2008, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena, at the library naming ceremony, proclaimed that “…There are men and women in life who manage to understand, before others, the signs of history. They see clarity where some just see clouds, they see opportunities where others only see difficulties. They fully understand the times in which we live and those that will come. And for that reason, they are capable of arguing with serene temperance; the reasons for their convictions and initiatives are unflagging. Hernán Santa Cruz was one of those human beings.” In 1947, he was appointed Ambassador of Chile to the UN. A year later, he would propose the creation of the Economic Commission for Latin America.
The Hernán Santa Cruz library preserves and provides access to the intellectual heritage of ECLAC and supports the work programme of the Commission through the acquisition, organisation and dissemination of information. It actively promotes global initiatives of access to information, as a human right, in the context of Agenda 2030.
Today, we not only celebrate 10 years of the naming of the Library, but also 70 years of the existence of ECLAC, of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and most of all, of the living memory of the one who helped to make it happen, Hernán Santa Cruz.