The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, met today in Berlin with Germany’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, with whom she reaffirmed the cooperation ties between the regional United Nations organization and the German government, above all in joint projects related to the region’s development and follow-up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“ECLAC and Germany are strategic allies. Our institution provides a platform for political dialogue in Latin America and the Caribbean, produces knowledge and recommends public policies to countries regarding economic, social and environmental issues, while Germany not only supports ECLAC in this work—thanks to its vast network and experience—but also feeds ECLAC’s knowledge and recommendations back into its bilateral projects,” Alicia Bárcena said after the meeting.
Meanwhile, Minister Steinmeier showed great interest in the Latin American reality, which has been demonstrated by his recent trips to several countries in the region. “Latin America is a part of the world that can be viewed with hope and optimism,” he said.
The minister added that the Business Association for Latin America (Lateinamerika Verein, LAV) is a bridge between Germany and the region.
During her two-day visit to the German capital, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary will also participate in the celebration of Lateinamerika Verein’s 100th anniversary, along with Minister Steinmeier and German executives with business interests in Latin America. Meanwhile, on Thursday, July 7, Bárcena will be the main speaker at the Colloquium on “The Future of Latin America: Risks and Opportunities for German companies,” which is being organized by the Latin America Initiative of German Business (Lateinamerika-Initiative der Deutschen Wirtschaft, LAI) and the Group of Ambassadors from Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC).
“It is imperative that the strategic alliances consolidated over years of cooperation be strengthened,” Bárcena emphasized, adding that the wide variety of projects announced by Germany in the world will allow for the strengthening of its economic relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, above all in areas of investment with high technological content, such as renewable energies and the automotive industry, to mention just a few.
Furthermore, ECLAC considers that the environmental goals and challenges seen today at a global level—which have been manifested in the commitment of countries to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, approved in 2015 in the heart of the United Nations—create a great opportunity for a technological and productive transformation that creates quality employment, more economic growth and greater equality. “In that trajectory, Germany’s experience, capabilities and leadership are both necessary and urgent,” Alicia Bárcena stated.
Germany has been one of ECLAC’s 45 Member States since 2005. A cooperation program between the two sides dating back to 1979 continues, seeking to strengthen the ability of Latin American governments to formulate, implement and evaluate their public policies on sustainable development.