(13 February 2013) As part of an official visit to Cuba from Monday 11 February to Friday 15, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, has held various meetings with senior government authorities to assess, inter alia, the support that the Commission will provide in 2013 to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), of which Cuba holds the pro tempore presidency.
The delegation accompanying the most senior representative of ECLAC consists in Raúl García-Buchaca, Director of the Programme Planning and Operations Division, Hugo Beteta, Director of the ECLAC subregional headquarters in Mexico, and Luis F. Yáñez, Officer-in-Charge of the Secretariat of the Commission.
During the first few days of the mission, Ms. Bárcena met with the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez, Vice-President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers, Marino Murillo, Vice-President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Economy and Planning, Adel Yzquierdo, and Minister of Finance and Prices, Lina Pedraza.
She also held meetings with the President of the Central Bank of Cuba, Ernesto Medina Villaveirán, interim Director of the Centre for World Economy Studies (CIEM), Ramón Pichs Madruga, and Director of the Directorate of International Economic Agencies of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, María de la Luz B' Hamel.
On Wednesday 13 February, the senior ECLAC official is scheduled to deliver a lecture in the main hall of Havana University on the proposal for structural change for equality put forward by ECLAC at its most recent session in El Salvador in August 2012. She will be received by the Dean of Havana University, Gustavo Cobreiro.
She also plans to meet the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Abelardo Moreno, President of the Environment Agency (AMA), Gisela Alonso, and the Head of the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI), Alexander Rodríguez.
Thursday 14 and Friday 15, Ms. Bárcena will take part in an international seminar on the 50th anniversary of the first economic plan in Cuba, organized by the Government of Cuba in the National Hotel in Havana. As well as addressing the opening and closing ceremonies, the Executive Secretary will also deliver a lecture to participants.
The seminar will also include a presentation on current trends in planning theory and practice delivered by Jorge Máttar, Director of the ECLAC Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES), which for 50 years has supported the region's countries in their development processes by means of studies, assistance and training.
The next meeting of the Regional Council for Planning, which provides the strategic guidelines for the work of ILPES, is scheduled for late 2013 in Brazil, and is intended to be a ministerial forum for dialogue, exchange of experiences and discussion on planning practice trends.
As part of the mission to Cuba, on Monday Ms. Bárcena and her delegation placed a floral tribute on the José Martí Memorial in the Plaza de la Revolución.
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