Financing for development, food security, the energy transition, integrated management of natural disasters, and climate action must be enabling policies that would allow for the effective fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mario Cimoli, Acting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), said today during a session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2022 that was focused on listening to messages coming from the regions.
ECLAC’s highest authority participated in the segment entitled Messages from the Regions: Regional action and leveraging regional frameworks to support countries on the road to recovery and rebuilding from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.
Participating along with Mario Cimoli were Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA); Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA); and Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).
Speaking on behalf of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean was Arnoldo André Tinoco, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, in his capacity as Chair of ECLAC and of the fifth meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, held on March 7-9, 2022 in San José. Tinoco presented the main conclusions and recommendations from this regional platform’s last gathering.
In his remarks, the Foreign Minister stressed the importance of strengthening political dialogue and regional cooperation for a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery, and he emphasized that the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean reaffirmed their commitment to effectively implementing the 2030 Agenda, noting that it is crucial to reach those who lag furthest behind first and to empower those who are in situations of vulnerability.
In addition, he recounted the presentation of the fifth report on progress and challenges in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the region, entitled A decade of action for a change of era, which was prepared by ECLAC.
Meanwhile, Mario Cimoli warned that just eight years before the deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the structural challenges for its implementation have increased in a context of multiple crises. In this scenario, he indicated, the implementation of enabling policies that would allow for their effective fulfillment is a matter of urgency.
“Both the importance of the SDGs as well as the difficulties for achieving them are clear. It will be impossible without financing for development and without fiscal space for the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean and middle-income countries,” he sustained.
ECLAC’s Acting Executive Secretary added that it is imperative to ensure food security and manage the accelerated rise in food prices that the region is experiencing. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of international cooperation for implementing the energy transition in developing economies, which are under pressure on prices and have a historical debt that they cannot settle.
Earlier in the day, both authorities participated in a virtual side event of the High-Level Political Forum organized by the Government of Costa Rica and ECLAC, where participants highlighted the multidimensional nature of development and the importance of multilateral action, and reaffirmed Development in Transition as the new paradigm for international cooperation.
The meeting entitled “Towards an inclusive and sustainable recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through the lens of development in transition” included a discussion panel that featured the participation of Félix Ulloa, Vice President of El Salvador; Marina Sereni, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy; Ragnheidur Árnadóttir, Director of the Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); and Enrique O'Farrill-Julien, Executive Director of the Chilean International Cooperation Agency-AGCI (on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Antonia Urrejola). As special guests, Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships of the European Commission, and Santiago Cafiero, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina, sent recorded greetings.
At this event, participants agreed about reaffirming the concept of “Development in Transition” as a new paradigm for international cooperation, so that it may be guided by recognition of the multidimensional and continuous nature of development processes and the specificities of Latin American and Caribbean countries, moving towards partnerships based on shared agendas adapted to the specific needs of countries and with the goal of addressing structural development gaps, contributing to the generation of regional and global public goods.
“The new reality is a possibility for change and for elevating shared ambitions in a big international cooperation push focused on a resilient and sustainable recovery that would tend to people’s urgent needs. Our main challenge must lie in leaving no one behind. That is why we must continue advocating for a transformation that would adapt our cooperation and financing for development systems to the goals and targets agreed upon in the 2030 Agenda, to foster a true recovery,” Foreign Minister Tinoco stated during the event’s opening segment.
In his remarks, ECLAC’s Acting Executive Secretary indicated that the need to rethink cooperation is an imperative that is being addressed within the UN system and with countries. Development in Transition, which spans Latin America and the Caribbean, is on the international agenda and is being discussed, Mario Cimoli noted.
“We believe it is important to face what is coming. ECLAC has said it well and will say it again in its next session, which will take place in Argentina in October: the reconstruction or reshaping of another way of rethinking globalization and multilateralism contemplates middle-income economies, or the development process, as something in transition, which cannot be measured solely by the domestic product, and this seems to us to be an extremely relevant issue,” Cimoli said.
The senior United Nations official also emphasized that the partnership between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean plays a crucial role, of understanding, because that is where the Development in Transition concept was conceived. “The region is working towards greater integration,” he affirmed.
Finally, ECLAC’s Acting Executive Secretary, accompanied by the Director of ECLAC’s Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean, Diane Quarless, met with the ambassadors and permanent representatives of the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) before the UN. They discussed the priorities of the Commission’s work program in the subregion, with emphasis on the initiatives related to financing for sustainable development, climate vulnerability and action, and statistics.