Cuenca, Ecuador, September 30, 2022– More than 550 attendees and 30 government representatives from 25 countries met on September 29 and 30 at the XIV Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean under the theme: “Recalibrating… How to get back on track towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)”, organized by the Government of Ecuador, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The Forum was a space for high-level dialogues on how to get back on the path to the SDGs, organized around tables on effective governance, social protection, and financing for development. During closure, authorities of 25 countries committed to progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in the "Declaration of Cuenca".
This document reaffirms their commitment to the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Regional Agenda for Inclusive Social Development from a holistic perspective, guaranteeing the participation of all relevant sectors and actors. The delegations in Cuenca recognized the need to encourage effective governance, an inclusive, efficient and transparent institutional framework, and greater articulation of the different levels of government, recognizing that the 2030 Agenda grants a central role to local governments and actors.
In turn, the authorities agreed, based on their national contexts and needs, to consolidate social protection systems that are universal, inclusive, fiscally sustainable, and favorable to growth, adapted to the new context of greater uncertainty, with an emphasis on protecting the well-being of the poor and other vulnerable groups, and on building resilience.
They also agreed to design strategies to increase and make more effective use of the different types of financing for sustainable development, encouraging alliances with key actors, generating a favorable investment climate, and linking the SDGs to national financial planning instruments, taking into account to the capacity of each country.
In addition to the declaration, the forum was a space for lectures by distinguished speakers such as James Robinson, Professor and Director of the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, University of Chicago; Rebeca Grynspan, Executive Secretary, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and Former Vice President of Costa Rica, Luis Felipe López-Calva, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Development Program and Isabel Saint Malo, Former Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, and Fellow of Harvard University.
Likewise, the forum featured opening remarks from Esteban Bernal, Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion of Ecuador (MIES), followed by valuable interventions from Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); Luis Felipe López-Calva, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Development Program; Raúl García-Buchaca, Deputy Executive Secretary for Management and Programme Analysis of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; Lena Savelli, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Ecuador and Guillermo Lasso, President of the Republic of Ecuador.
Two side events were also held during the Forum. The first on the promotion of a multilevel and multiactor approach to contribute to the acceleration of the 2030 Agenda and the second on the regional crisis triggered by the rise in the cost of living.
Finally, attendees visited a fair where they were able to learn about development projects supported by UNDP Ecuador, visit a UNDP regional exhibition under the theme "UNDP Smart Future" on how UNDP Country Offices in Latin America and the Caribbean are driving the future of development. Likewise, entrepreneurs from all regions of Ecuador, which are financed through the Human Development Credit of the National Government, were part of the fair.