(March 23, 2015) ECLAC’s member countries discussed the results of the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Consultation on Financing for Development—held in Chile on March 12 and 13—during the 30th session of the Committee of the Whole of this United Nations regional organization, which took place in New York on March 19-20.
The Committee of the Whole is a subsidiary body of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) that allows the governments of member countries to meet in the periods between the Commission’s official sessions. Along with presenting the results of the Regional Consultation, officials at the session also analyzed the role of the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Forum and its articulation with the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, among other issues.
Antonio Prado, ECLAC’s Deputy Executive Secretary, said during the meeting that countries must strengthen and coordinate regional stances and actions for the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda while also making progress on deeper integration processes, in the context of strategies for structural change that have a smaller environmental footprint.
Country representatives ratified that this development agenda is a universal process, which is under construction and requires the active participation of all parties involved.
“Equality must be at the center of the development agenda. Eradicating poverty and extreme poverty is possible in the next decade with productivity and decent jobs,” Prado stated.
With regard to the results of the recent Regional Consultation on Financing for Development, Antonio Prado presented the highlights, which include the importance of global cooperation on fiscal and taxation matters to regulate evasion, circumvention and illicit funds, as well as the issue of sovereign debt and the indebtedness of countries, above all in light of the monetary policy changes seen in industrialized nations.
On this latter point, Prado reiterated the possibility of exploring an initiative similar to the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) to forgive the multilateral debt of Caribbean countries.
In addition, he indicated that south-south cooperation should be cooperation among peers and he underscored the importance of the role of development banks, at a national, regional and global level.
Other relevant topics from the Regional Consultation included the need to reform the governance of the international monetary system so that countries are better represented, the elimination of trade asymmetries, public-private alliances, gender equality in the management of financing and the participation of civil society in intergovernmental processes.
The delegates expressed their thanks for the report presented by Chile in its role as host and organizer of the Regional Consultation and the Secretariat, which is held by ECLAC, and they requested that the report be sent to the co-facilitators of the process.
During the Committee of the Whole, representatives of countries and of the ECOSOC (the UN Economic and Social Council) also discussed the major challenges related to implementing and following up on the agenda for development after 2015 in the region, especially with regard to its financing, access to technology, cooperation and the issues that cut across categories, such as gender matters and climate change.
At the gathering, the delegates also approved the request of the Kingdom of Norway to be incorporated as a member of ECLAC and they responded positively to the Declaration of Santiago, which launches the negotiations for a regional instrument on access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters (Principle 10).
ECLAC’s Committee of the Whole was led by Peru in its role as president of the Committee and was attended by Jamaican Foreign Minister Arnold Joseph Nicholson. The main United Nations entities participated and praised ECLAC’s openness to civil society.