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Alicia Bárcena: The Region has the Institutional Architecture Needed to Support the Post-2015 Agenda

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6 May 2015|Press Release

ECLAC’s Executive Secretary participated in New York in a high-level thematic debate about cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations.


ECLAC's Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena (seated, left), during the opening segment of the debate, in which the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, took part.
ECLAC's Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena (seated, left), during the opening segment of the debate, in which the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, took part.
Photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

Latin America and the Caribbean has a regional and sub-regional institutional architecture that can bolster implementation, follow-up and accountability for the new post-2015 development agenda, and which enjoys the support of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the organization’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, stated during a high-level debate held in New York.

That institutional architecture—which includes organizations for integration, development banks and ECLAC’s subsidiary bodies—has been maturing and has become highly complementary, Alicia Bárcena said at the High-level thematic debate on strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations, which took place on Monday, May 4 at UN headquarters.

ECLAC’s most senior representative indicated that intergovernmental institutions focused on integration have shown that they want to speak in unison on behalf of Latin America and the Caribbean in discussions on the biggest global issues and in dialogue with other countries and regions. She highlighted the role played by blocs such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), with which ECLAC has worked closely.

Alicia Bárcena also pointed to the work that regional development banks can carry out in key areas like infrastructure, transportation, industry and renewable energy.

“At ECLAC we see the collaboration of the United Nations system with all of these entities as a strategic factor,” the Executive Secretary emphasized.

Bárcena also recounted that ECLAC has supported the region’s countries in numerous intergovernmental debates related to the post-2015 agenda, on matters such as monitoring and accountability, and on financing for development and the mobilization of internal and external resources, with this last issue addressed in preparation for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, which will be held in Addis Ababa in July.

During this event, she made reference to the need to strengthen regional cooperation on fiscal matters and take measures to impede illicit flows, which in Latin America and the Caribbean amount to 150 billion dollars—a figure that doubles the income from remittances (about 63 billion dollars) and is fifteen times greater than the amount of official development aid (about 10 billion dollars).

In addition, the Executive Secretary contended that it is crucial for officials to put to good use the subsidiary bodies that work within ECLAC, which bring together government officials from the region specializing in areas such as statistics, finances, planning and science and technology, and which have the technical support of this regional UN commission.

“Through the post-2015 agenda, the United Nations has a historic opportunity to lead this process, establishing a sustainable vision of development that can be implemented with renewed policies and governance mechanisms and a new State-market-society balance, consolidating its alliances and its collaboration with regional and sub-regional actors,” Alicia Bárcena stated.

The senior United Nations official added that the region is at a crossroads, because it has made significant progress on social matters in recent years, allowing nearly 58 million people to get out of poverty between 2002 and 2014. Now it faces the challenge of maintaining these achievements in an adverse economic context, characterized by the end of the cycle of high commodities prices and low-cost financing.