This report has been prepared by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) at the request of the General Secretariat of UNASUR. It is part of an ongoing effort that crystallized earlier in the documents published in 2009, 2011 and 2014, and it furthers the UNASUR General Secretariat’s aim of providing national authorities, academics and students, as well as the general public, with an overview of some key issues on the development agenda of the South American nations. The General Secretariat also hopes to use this document to drive a high-level debate that will enable the UNASUR countries to build on the social, economic and political successes of recent years so that they can confront the challenges of their development and deepen regional cooperation.
This publication is the first since the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in September 2015. These include important economic, social, environmental and health goals for 2030 which the UNASUR countries hope to attain and for which they require basic information and follow-up. This report provides a summary of issues relating to the region’s development, offers an overview of the similarities and asymmetries between the countries and sets out the conditions for stimulating cooperation within UNASUR. The analysis is supported by a large amount of graphic material illustrating the main components of the diagnosis.