Reducing the social footprint of the current development model and achieving inclusive social development are fundamental for the fulfilment of the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the representatives of Latin American and Caribbean countries participating in the Second Meeting of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean recognized today, at the conclusion of the three-day gathering held in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Moving forward along this path “requires the coordination of productive inclusion and social inclusion policies, especially in the current context of change accelerated by technological innovation at the global level,” according to the ministers and senior social development authorities present at the meeting organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the government of Uruguay.
At the closing session of the conference’s second meeting, the delegates expressed appreciation for the advances achieved by the region in the last 15 years in reducing poverty and inequality, but observed with concern the trend toward reducing social development budgets in the region and the possible weakening of social protection systems that this could cause.
They therefore emphasized “the need to safeguard, promote and ensure the efficiency of social investment and continue working to make the tax burden more progressive, in order to consolidate the progress achieved and avoid setbacks that would carry high costs for individuals and national economies.”
In the meeting’s resolutions, countries committed themselves to “fostering the building of a regional agenda for inclusive social development” in the framework of the 2030 Agenda’s social dimension, and they requested ECLAC’s technical assistance for that.
As part of that agenda, the delegates indicated that special attention must be given to children and adolescents, older persons, young people, women, indigenous peoples, the Afro-descendent population, persons with disabilities, those living in disadvantaged areas, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, as well as migrants, populations affected by disasters and climate change, and those displaced from their territories by conflicts.
The national representatives contended that sustainable development in the region cannot be achieved without equality of rights, capacities, opportunities, means, outcomes and the commitment of governments and civil society.
To that end, they urged countries to “generate national consensuses, compacts and agreements, in accordance with their capacities and in line with their individual situations, for strengthening a culture of equality and overcoming the culture of privilege, safeguarding social investment and the role of social policies and the institutional framework in sustainable development.”
In addition, the countries present requested that ECLAC broadly disseminate the document Linkages between the social and production spheres: Gaps, pillars and challenges, prepared specially for the meeting, and continue updating instruments such as the Database on Social Investment, the Database on non-contributory social protection programs, the Database on youth and social inclusion, and the Database on the social institutional framework.
The Conference’s Presiding Officers are now made up of Uruguay in the Presidency and Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico and Panama in the Vice Presidencies. The Second Meeting of the Presiding Officers will take place in Panama in 2018, in conjunction with the X Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
- Full document: Linkages between the social and production spheres: Gaps, pillars and challenges.
- Website of the Second Meeting of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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