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Countries in the Region Stress Importance of Designing Coherent Public Policies with the Aim of Strengthening Planning for Development

The XVII Meeting of the Regional Council for Planning concluded today in Montevideo, Uruguay with a call to strengthen the practice of planning in Latin America and the Caribbean.

30 August 2019|Press Release

Latin American and Caribbean countries recognized today the importance of the coherence of public policies for strengthening the processes and instruments of planning for development and public administration, with a view to implementing the 2030 Agenda in the region, during the closing session of the XVII Meeting of the Regional Council for Planning (RCP), which was held in Montevideo, Uruguay.

This high-level meeting was organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the government of Uruguay, through its Planning and Budget Office. It drew the participation of ministers, deputy ministers and heads of planning from 24 countries in the region, seven of them Caribbean nations.

The closing session of the event was led by Álvaro García, Director of Uruguay’s Planning and Budget Office, and Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary.

During his remarks, Álvaro García highlighted the meeting’s success and urged countries to keep working for the well-being of the region’s citizens.

He also thanked ECLAC for the work it does for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and reiterated the commitment of his country, which will hold the presidency of the RCP for the next two years.

Alicia Bárcena, meanwhile, emphasized that the most significant trait of the Regional Council for Planning’s identity lies in the formation, strengthening and development of an authentic Latin American and Caribbean community of planners, which fosters the exchange of good practices, flags shared difficulties, and enriches the capacities of the whole based on the deepest knowledge deriving from the diverse experiences of its parts.

“This is a community that has, thanks to the will of its main actors – the countries that make it up – a center for support, systematization and backing in the form of ECLAC’s Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES),” she stated.

The Executive Secretary of the United Nations regional commission stressed the importance of planning with a long-term vision that allows for public policies to become state policies.

She also emphasized that the territory is important and hence, the gaps must be narrowed.

“We have said it before and I’ll say it again: the territory matters. It is in the territory where one recognizes him or herself, where one relates to others. We cannot have cities divided into rich and poor. One of the structural causes of migration is precisely this, exclusion. Our opportunity is in the territory,” she indicated.

Furthermore, she reaffirmed the need for a multilateralism that strengthens democracy as a compatible response to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and that reinforces trust in international cooperation and collective action for the provision of global and regional public goods.

“We need more multilateralism, more cooperation, more collective action. The cost of not cooperating is too high for the region,” she sustained.

In the framework of this meeting, ECLAC presented the position document Planning for sustainable territorial development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which analyzes 153 territorial policies from the region, their multiple approaches and thematic focuses, and proposes a working model to address them in a systemic fashion.

The Regional Council for Planning is the intergovernmental subsidiary body that guides the activities of ILPES.