Today marked the conclusion of the Fifth Session of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean and the XV Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, organized by ECLAC, the Government of Chile and the UNDP.
The Region’s Countries Reaffirmed the Importance of Safeguarding Progress on Inclusive Social Development and Halting the Setbacks Prompted by Cascading Crises
October 5, 2023
(October 5, 2023) Representatives of Latin American and Caribbean countries gathered at the Fifth Session of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean and at the XV Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean reaffirmed today the importance of putting people and their rights at the heart of development, safeguarding the progress the region has achieved on inclusive social development through appropriate social investment, and halting the setbacks prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic and cascading crises.
Participating in this regional event – organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Government of Chile and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – were 108 delegates from 18 countries in the region, along with representatives of United Nations organizations, financial institutions, development banks and cooperation agencies, members of civil society and academics.
The closing session featured remarks by Javiera Toro, Minister of Social Development and Family of Chile, the country that took over as Chair of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Social Development; Linda Maguire, the UNDP’s Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, on behalf of Regional Director Michelle Muschett; and Alberto Arenas de Mesa, Director of ECLAC’s Social Development Division, on behalf of Executive Secretary José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs – all of whom commended the work done at the three-day Conference and outlined the region’s main challenges for attaining inclusive social development.
To achieve a transformative recovery, the countries reiterated their conviction that the sustained creation of productive employment and decent work, together with comprehensive, universal, sustainable and resilient social protection systems that make it possible to ensure access to quality education and health, housing and basic services, and care policies that ensure co-responsibility between the State and society and between women and men, are indispensable.
In the session’s approved resolution, country delegates recognized “the importance of institutional frameworks for social policy and governance of decision-making in social policies, which enable the implementation of the Regional Agenda for Inclusive Social Development, with a view to achieving the objectives of the social dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
In that regard, they stressed the importance of moving forward resolutely to strengthen the four dimensions of the institutional framework for social policy – legal and regulatory, organizational, technical and operational, and financial – in order to have high-quality public policies that are effective, efficient, transparent and sustainable.
The national representatives also stated that multilateralism and cooperation are essential to making headway on implementing the 2030 Agenda in the region, and they emphasized the contribution of civil society and other stakeholders to the process of discussing the Regional Agenda for Inclusive Social Development, encouraging their active participation.
Furthermore, the resolution urges the ministries of social development and equivalent entities to strengthen South-South and triangular cooperation mechanisms for development, inclusion and social protection.
The Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean can serve as an exceptional platform for taking the region’s voice to the World Social Summit that will be held in 2025, the participants underscored at the meeting.
The delegates also thanked ECLAC for disseminating the Observatory on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, requesting that it be systematically updated. In particular, they recognized the value of the database on the Institutional Framework for Social Policy, the Social Development and COVID-19 portal, and the database on Non-contributory Social Protection Programs.
The countries welcomed the presentation of the position document Institutional Frameworks for Social Policy in Latin America and the Caribbean: a Central Element in Advancing towards Inclusive Social Development, prepared by ECLAC, which analyzes the state of the social institutional framework in the region’s countries, examines comparative experiences and seeks to define paths to follow to strengthen capacities and thereby improve the quality of social development policies.
The Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference is now made up of Chile as Chair and Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama and Venezuela as Vice-Chairs.
Barbados will host the XVI Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, led by the UNDP in collaboration with ECLAC, and the Sixth Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2024, while Brazil will be the site of the Sixth Session of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2025.
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