The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean reaffirmed today the Montevideo Consensus as the basis of a comprehensive and strategic road map for national and regional action, during the closing ceremony of the third session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development, which concluded this Thursday in Lima, Peru.
The closing event was led by Ana María Mendieta, the Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations of Peru; Mario Cimoli, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); and Dereje Wordofa, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The session was attended by 192 delegates from 32 of ECLAC’s member countries and one associate member, along with 82 representatives of United Nations System bodies and intergovernmental organizations, and 320 people from civil society.
“The presence of the highest authorities at this meeting shows the commitment of governments to implementing the Montevideo Consensus, a commitment that reinforces our optimism regarding compliance with all the measures needed to promote equality and respect for human rights,” Minister Ana María Mendieta said.
She added that the Regional Conference “has once again demonstrated that beyond the progress achieved during the last few years, many challenges still lie ahead that demand that we accelerate the adoption of measures in different areas.”
The minister also referred to the Presidency of the Presiding Officers of the Conference on Population and Development, which falls to Peru from now on, indicating that “we will comply with the greatest responsibility and commitment. All of you can rest assured that in the year 2020, we will pass the baton with the task completed.”
In his remarks, Mario Cimoli expressed ECLAC’s satisfaction not only with the successful evolution of the meeting but also with its notable outcome.
“We have achieved the main objective that we had, which is that all the member countries have reaffirmed the Montevideo Consensus as the region’s road map for complying with the Cairo Program of Action beyond 2014, with the regional specificities that our instrument contemplates,” he stated.
ECLAC’s Deputy Executive Secretary congratulated the countries for the level of commitment that both their governments and civil society showed during the process of national and regional evaluation of the Montevideo Consensus.
“Twenty three countries have submitted their national reports and have given an account of the progress made in the Consensus’s various thematic areas. And although the reports detail important advances, there is still great heterogeneity among countries and within them,” he warned.
Dereje Wordofa underscored that over the three days of the Conference “we have heard the call repeated, from every corner of this room and every corner of the region, that we must not leave anyone behind, women and girls, men and boys, young people, older persons, LGBTI persons, Afro-descendants, indigenous peoples, disabled persons, migrants, any person that experiences poverty, exclusion or discrimination.”
He added that “our moral responsibility, captured at the core of the Montevideo Consensus, is this commitment and that to bring it about we must first reach the furthest behind. They are demanding it, they have a right to it, sustainable development depends on it, and together we all must and will deliver.”
At the end of the Conference, the countries approved a draft resolution in which, among other things, they commit themselves to accelerating compliance with relevant priority measures of the Montevideo Consensus through the adequate allocation of resources and the creation and strengthening of institutional mechanisms for their implementation and follow-up.
The text also exhorts countries to develop national strategies and public policies with gender and intercultural perspectives, and to participate in regional initiatives aimed at older persons in relation to the implementation and follow-up of the Montevideo Consensus and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and that they continue adopting measures to guarantee the exercise of their human rights and dignity.
Finally, the resolution praises the presentation, by ECLAC, of the Draft first regional report on the implementation of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development, as well as the Proposal for a virtual platform to contribute to regional follow-up of the Consensus, which will be reviewed by the countries that will include their observations, comments and suggestions.