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"A New Macroeconomic Approach Focused on Development Is Key to Reducing Inequality"

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5 June 2012|Press Release

The Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa, who also took part in the ceremony, recognized the importance of ECLAC's work to foster development in the region.


"México apoya y seguirá apoyando a la CEPAL en virtud del papel que desempeña como foro internacional", dijo Patricia Espinosa, Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores de México.
"México apoya y seguirá apoyando a la CEPAL en virtud del papel que desempeña como foro internacional", dijo Patricia Espinosa, Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores de México.
Foto: CEPAL México

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(20 April 2012) The Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa, on behalf of President Felipe Calderón, together with Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, inaugurated the organization's new Subregional Headquarters in Mexico.

Alicia Bárcena recalled that since their establishment in 1951 the ECLAC Headquarters have focused on promoting equal development and a better economic integration under a renewed approach to regional cooperation.

"That original mandate stating that governments should support the region for developing a Central American Economic Integration Programme is today more relevant than ever, as the peoples of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti are closer to those of Central America and Mexico. It is all about closing gaps and paving ways together in this Time for Equality," she said.

"It is evident that challenges today and in the future transcend national borders. A new event of great political significance is, for example, the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) aiming to change the way we relate to one other, and to the rest of the world in a highly pragmatic, yet idealistic way," she remarked.

 "All governments have committed to accepting their proximity and acknowledge this geographical closeness as an opportunity rather than as a condemnation, recognizing neighbors as equals and respecting each one's differences."

The Executive Secretary of ECLAC recognized that cooperation among countries in the region is essential to address the financial, fiscal and public security vulnerability faced by the subregion integrated by Mexico, Central America, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

"At ECLAC, we are strongly convinced that social equality, productive convergence and economic dynamism are not at odds with one another. As we said, it is necessary to grow in order to become equal, and to become equal in order to grow," stated Bárcena.

"Achieving the latter implies committing to a social covenant with a development path clearly oriented towards equality and productive convergence. This demands a new equation among the State, the market and society in mutual respect, and this is what we are building in Latin America and the Caribbean - completely aware that there are no sole ways, nor pre-established "recipes" for development that are valid and legitimate at all times and in all places."

The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE, for its acronym in Spanish) Patricia Espinosa acknowledged the work that ECLAC has been doing for Mexico and the countries of the region and recognized Alicia Bárcena's leadership, which she described as innovative.

"Mexico feels proud of Alicia Bárcena, the first Mexican woman leading ECLAC," she expressed.

She added that Mexico is convinced that not only must the countries of the region close social and economic gaps, but also wealth must be re-distributed in order to grow and improving equality. Inequality is not only a result of underdevelopment, but also its cause.

"Mexico supports ECLAC - and will continue to do so - as an international forum," she claimed.

Espinosa thanked the support of ECLAC for the creation of CELAC, the new Pacific Alliance whose establishment has been led by Mexico in the last three years, and its support during Civil Society consultations prior to the 16th International Conference on Climate Change that took place in Cancun, in 2010.

"In moments like now, when we are witnessing the revival of certain practices in our region, it is crucial to listen to authoritative voices on the negative consequences of certain policies that have undoubtedly proven to be counterproductive for regional and global development," claimed Espinosa.

When welcoming the participants, the Director of the Subregional Headquarters of ECLAC in Mexico Hugo Beteta reminded that ECLAC coined the concept of Latin American integration.

"ECLAC invented Latin America as a regional integration and embarked on the search for a genuinely regional thinking. Europe began divided and then became united. Latin America was born united and then divided. ECLAC's thinking has a special approach of the theory of development," assured Beteta.

He said that the Headquarters in Mexico, 61 years after their establishment, have witnessed history and subregional transformation efforts, and hopes to continue contributing to an enlightening debate based on its interpretation of the different realities co-existing in the subregion.

The ECLAC Subregional Headquarters in Mexico were created in 1951. The facilities inaugurated yesterday are located in Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 193, floors 12 and 14, Colonia Granada, where the library with one of the most comprehensive economic bibliographic collection is located, together with the Raúl Prebisch conference room for conferences and meetings.

There are also working spaces for experts of each Work Unit: International Trade and Industry, Agricultural and Rural Development, Climate Change, Economic Development, Social Development, Energy and Natural Resources and Socioeconomic Assessment of Natural Disasters.

For further questions, please contact ECLAC's Public Information and Web Services Unit: ; Tel.: (56 2) 210 2040.

At the ECLAC Subregional Headquarters in Mexico, please contact María Luisa Díaz. E-mail: ; Tel.: (52 55) 4170.5665.

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