XIV Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. 29-30 September 2022. Cuenca, Ecuador
Declaration of Cuenca
September 30, 2022
The Ministries in charge of social, economic, and environmental areas in Latin America and the Caribbean, gathered in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, on September 29-30, 2022, convened at the XIV Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean with the theme “Recalibrating... How to Get Back on Track Towards the SDGs”, organized by the Government of Ecuador, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Gathered with the aim of sharing experiences on public policies in the field of development, understood in a broad sense, particularly in its social, economic and environmental dimensions, strengthening regional ties and discussing proposals to face the challenges of our countries to overcome the structural barriers that disproportionately affect populations in situations of vulnerability and those traditionally excluded, and that limit inclusive development, such as the expansion of social protection systems and the strengthening of alliances between development actors, including governments and the private sector, for the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Aware of the situation in the Latin American and Caribbean region that, at a time of slower economic growth, faces the persistent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economic pressures imposed by the conflict in Ukraine, and the natural and climatic impacts, among others, which jeopardize the sustainability of the achievements made in the living conditions of millions of citizens and slow down the continuity of improvements in the region in reducing poverty and inequality in all its dimensions.
Considering that public policies and inclusion strategies must be focused on “leaving no one behind”, generating, articulating and coordinating actions that involve all relevant actors, including local governments, the private sector, academia and civil society, taking into consideration the needs, conditions and realities of people living in vulnerability, and with a vision adapted to the national reality and specific territories.
Reasserting our commitment to fulfilling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Regional Agenda for Inclusive Social Development from a holistic perspective that guarantees the participation of all sectors and drivers of society, based on the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, which encourages effective governance, an inclusive, effective and transparent institutional framework, as well as more democratic, just and peaceful societies, under the principles of indivisibility, interdependence and complementarity of human rights associated with the SDGs.
Committed to encouraging actions to increase spaces for discussion of experiences and collaboration in public policies in the field of human and social development in the region.
Regarding Social Protection,
- Move towards social protection systems that contribute to promoting inclusive and sustainable growth, reducing poverty and the vulnerabilities of the population, enhancing their fundamental role in building resilience.
- Consolidate social protection systems that are universal, inclusive, fiscally sustainable and favorable to growth, that protect the well-being of people living in poverty and other vulnerable groups, are capable of anticipating various risks, and have effective mechanisms for the mitigation of the negative effects that the population may face, with a focus on prevention, preparation and resilience.
- Adapt the implementation of the universality of social protection to the characteristics and challenges of each country, expanding coverage in a financially sustainable manner, under a social pact and a fiscal contract that is forged collectively, and where everyone is protected regardless of their position in the labor market.
- Build comprehensive and equal social protection systems, promoting equal access to quality care, promoting co-responsibility among all people and actors capable of providing care, promoting the economic empowerment of women, and balancing gender roles and responsibilities.
Regarding the Articulation Between Local and National Governments
- Strengthen effective governance, understanding that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its underlying principle of “leaving no one behind” is based on greater collaboration between all levels of government and other stakeholders.
- Recognize that the 2030 Agenda considers that local governments are key actors for the fulfillment of the SDGs and, for them to fully assume this role, it is necessary to create an institutional environment that fosters local leadership committed to the appropriation of the SDGs, improve the accountability and promote the construction of evidence-based solutions.
- Consider that the previous point implies the identification, formulation and implementation of comprehensive public policies and development programs that are integrated with an intersectoral approach, coordinate the efforts of all actors and institutions at all levels of action, mobilize the participation of all of them, and adapt to the changes and characteristics of each context.
- Foster new forms of effective localization processes with inclusive civic participation to strengthen trust and legitimacy, promoting efforts to include traditionally marginalized groups and communities, taking advantage of new technologies for citizen participation.
- Reduce fragmentation and increase efficiency and service delivery at the local level by enhancing the capacity of local governments, increasing their revenues and their ability to deliver high-quality services.
- Support the generation and analysis of disaggregated data at the local and regional levels, which is crucial to develop the evidence base necessary for the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs, as well as to identify those who are left behind in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
- Increase transparency, access to public information and accountability in public management, according to national regulations, making information regarding the actions of the State at its different levels open, accessible and timely.
Regarding Financing for Development
- Promote public policies and alliances that stimulate the sustainable development of the productive sector focused on balancing economic, social and environmental achievements.
- Contribute to a favorable investment climate, with efforts to strengthen governance and institutions, build fair tax systems, efficient and transparent regulatory frameworks, and the rule of law, considering the challenges for the financial services sectors.
- Promote more initiatives for regional cooperation and resources from the different development stakeholders to face systemic problems, such as malnutrition caused by the food crisis, which helps improve agricultural production, the supply of raw materials, and creates greater accessibility to lower-income sectors.
- According to the capacity of each country, link the SDGs to national planning instruments, the budget and national public investment plans, an effort that several countries in the region have already initiated.
- Design strategies to increase and make more effective use of the different types of financing for sustainable development.
- Recognize the substantive contributions of UNDP and ECLAC, which contributed to the successful development of the work of the Forum and urge both organizations to continue strengthening the Forum as a space for exchange, good practices and collective construction in the social area for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs in the region.
- Promote greater regional cooperation initiatives between the different development actors, as well as resources for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- Urge UNDP to continue to actively support countries to promote their development priorities, within its mandate, in coordination with the competent national authorities and with the participation of relevant actors.
- Thank the Government of Chile, for accepting the mandate to hold the VI Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean of ECLAC in 2023, and the XV Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean in the city of Santiago, in the year 2023.
Finally, we would like to thank the Government of Ecuador and the city of Cuenca for their generous hospitality and efforts in coordinating and preparing the Forum, and UNDP and ECLAC for their invaluable contribution in hosting this event.
Signed by the Ministries in charge of social, economic, and environmental areas in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Cuenca, Ecuador, on September 30, 2022.
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