(28 March 2012) On 23 March concluded the four-day visit of the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, to Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. During her visit, Bárcena met with high-level authorities of the Government of Brazil, with whom she discussed ECLAC's activities in the region (especially in Brazil), signed agreements and programmed future joint actions with Brazilian institutions.
Alicia Bárcena and ECLAC Deputy Executive Secretary, Antonio Prado, held substantive meetings with ministers of Foreign Affairs; Planning, Budget and Management; Science, Technology and Innovation; National Integration; Environment; Education; Policies for Women and for the Promotion of Racial Equality, as well as with leaders of public research bodies and institutions advising Brazilian economic and diplomatic authorities.
The Brazilian Minister of Planning, Budget and Management, Miriam Belchior, confirmed the organization of the next Regional Council for Planning (RCP) meeting, to take place in November 2012 in Brazil. The RCP is a subsidiary body of ECLAC gathering the main Latin American and Caribbean planning authorities. Also at this event, the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of ECLAC's Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES) will be celebrated.
Likewise, Alicia Bárcena signed a new technical cooperation agreement with the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA, for its acronym in Portuguese) and the Government of Brazil, which will prolong the more-than-four-decade-long collaboration between IPEA and ECLAC for studying development and public policies in the region and within the country. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Institute, Marchio Pochmann, and the Director of the Brazilian Agency for Cooperation, Minister Marco Farani.
During his meeting with ECLAC Executive Secretary, the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Patriota, acknowledged the importance of ECLAC's support at regional fora such as UNASUR and CELAC, as well as its contributions through research and studies aiming to enhance the debate on development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Alicia Bárcena presented to Minister Patriota the agenda of the main meetings and conferences planned by the Commission for this year; among the programmed events is the Twenty-sixth Session of the ECLAC Committee of the Whole (New York, 28-29 March) and the Thirty-fourth Session of ECLAC (El Salvador, 27-31 August).
The Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marco Antonio Raupp, requested ECLAC's support for organizing a regional meeting of ministers of science and technology in order to promote a better collaboration among countries for the development of policies for this sector. At the Ministry, the ECLAC Executive Secretary - invited by the Ministry's Executive Secretary Luiz Antonio Elias - made a special presentation to more than 40 high-level officials and public servants of the Federal Government in Brasilia on development challenges in the region.
The Minister of the Environment, Izabella Teixeira, proposed Alicia Bárcena the participation of ECLAC in the debate on sustainable development policies which will contribute to Rio+20, as well as in the analysis and follow up of the Conference's results in the years to come.
The Minister of Education, Aloizio Mercadante, recognized ECLAC's contribution to build an economic thinking in the region and requested its support to create a new centre for educating development researchers and public policy makers in Brazil.
The Chief Minister of the Secretariat for Policies for Women, Eleonora Menicucci, will chair ECLAC's meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, to be held in Panama, in May.
The Minister of National Integration, Fernando Bezerra, acknowledged and reaffirmed support and cooperation with ILPES by organizing workshops on local territorial development in several Brazilian states. Also, he requested ECLAC Executive Secretary carrying out joint studies on the border regions of Brazil with the purpose of having a greater impact in development and social policies existing in neighboring countries.
A possible contribution of ECLAC to organizing a regional observatory for statistical data on race was discussed with the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat for Policies for the Promotion of Race Equality of the Presidency of the Republic, Mario Theodoro, as a result of the summits on Afro-descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean held in Brazil.
Alicia Bárcena was invited by the Executive Secretary of the National Association of Postgraduate Centers in Economics in Brazil (ANPEC, for its acronym in Portuguese), Mauricio Serra, to make a presentation on ECLAC and its proposals during the next annual meeting, to take place in December 2012 when the Association, gathering the main universities and economic research centers in the country, celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Beside the Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Antonio Prado, during her visit to Brazil Alicia Bárcena was accompanied by Jorge Máttar, Director of ILPES; Luis Yáñez, Officer in charge of the Commission's Secretariat; and Carlos Mussi, Director of the ECLAC Office in Brazil.
For further questions, please contact ECLAC's Public Information and Web Services Unit. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; Tel.: (56 2) 210 2040.