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"A New Form of Cooperation for Development between Latin America and Europe Is Necessary"

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22 November 2011|Press Release

During a high-level event, Alicia Bárcena highlighted the ECLAC @LIS2 Programme, which promotes an inclusive information society in Latin America, as a successful example of the new form of cooperation needed between both regions.


Alicia Bárcena, Secretaria Ejecutiva de la CEPAL, en Bruselas.
Alicia Bárcena, Secretaria Ejecutiva de la CEPAL, en Bruselas.
Foto: Friends of Europe

(21 November 2011) The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, participated in the meeting Latin America's New Dynamic, in Brussels, Belgium, which was organized by ECLAC, the think-tank Friends of Europe and the @LIS2 Programme. More than 300 high-level participants were at the event, such as representatives from European Parliament, EUROCHAMBRES and different Latin American Missions in the European Union.

The event was inaugurated by Jolita Butkeviciene, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the European Cooperation (EuropeAid - DEVCO), who said that there are currently new opportunities for cooperation for Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe, during which issues such as social exclusion must be addressed. She stressed in particular the need to lower the price of broadband in Latin America, create the conditions for accessing greater bandwidths, improve the quality of service, and develop skills for its effective use and new applications for high speed Internet. Ms. Butkeviciene highlighted that cooperation initiatives, such as the @LIS2 Programme, position the region on the right path towards these objectives.

Ms. Bárcena participated in the first session of the event with the Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Communications for Brazil, Cezar Alvarez, the Managing Director for the Americas of the European External Action Service, Christian Leffler, and the Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament Delegation of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos.

During her speech the Executive Secretary of ECLAC stated that today Latin America shows strong democratic institutionality, sustained economic growth, macroeconomic stability, lower levels of poverty and in some cases, lower levels of inequality. She also referred to the problems in Latin America and the Caribbean, highlighting the existing gap in information and communications technologies (ICTs).

"Bridging the digital divide achieves better social cohesion. This is why we are promoting greater connectivity between the countries of the region and Europe in this area through the ECLAC @LIS2 Programme," said the Executive Secretary.

ECLAC @LIS2, a project which is co-financed by the European Commission, has made significant achievements, in particular in the development of a strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean on ITC (eLAC), the implementation of a Regional Dialogue on Broadband and the creation of a Regional Broadband Observatory (ORBA).

Distinguished panellists were also present during this day of discussion, including the Vice Minister of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Education of El Salvador, the Director of International Affairs of the Telecommunications Market Commission of Spain and the Vice-Chairman of the German-South-American Parliamentary Delegation of the Bundestag.

After the event there was a meal to inaugurate the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, which involved the participation of the Co-President of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, and the Vice President of Colombia, Angelino Garzón.

In her opening remarks, Alicia Bárcena said that, "at this crucial time we can clearly see that each one of our regions has its own challenges and responsibilities. On one side of the Atlantic the challenge is to maintain citizens' wellbeing and on the other side it is to achieve wellbeing and make it available to everyone."

The Executive Secretary added that greater interregional cooperation is needed to achieve these objectives, in particular in Latin America to bridge poverty, inequality, technology and innovation gaps. "At ECLAC we firmly believe that it is time to renew the cooperation alliance in order to make progress from an agenda for poverty to an agenda for development with equality," she concluded.

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