Transforming Latin America and the Caribbean through Governance

UNDP and CAF Join Forces in Their First Annual Conference to Strengthen Sustainable and Inclusive Development in the Region

September 20, 2023

New York, United States, September 20, 2023 – On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF) held their first Annual Conference on Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean. The conference marks a milestone and reaffirms UNDP and CAF's commitment to sustainable and inclusive development and governance in the region. The conference brought together a distinguished panel of regional leaders and attracted more than 300 participants.

"The current governance crisis in the region is fundamentally a development crisis. Sustainable development cannot exist without peace, strong institutions, and equal justice for all. At UNDP, we are committed to fostering a series of dialogues, generating analyses, and opening processes of political engagement that facilitate informed decision-making, collective construction, and the formation of alliances towards more productive, inclusive, and resilient societies, placing people at the center. This first annual conference on governance is an essential forum in the current context and represents a starting point in the effort to promote inclusive dialogues on effective governance and development in the region," stated Michelle Muschett, Regional Director of UNDP for Latin America and the Caribbean.

On the other hand, Christian Asinelli, Corporate Vice President for Strategic Programming at CAF, emphasized: "At CAF, we work hand in hand with our member countries to strengthen their democratic systems. To sustain governance, political legitimacy, and socio-economic stability in our societies, we need robust and consistent democracies. This requires strong collaboration among diverse societal actors, including the professionalization of state personnel and the bureaucratic apparatus, the promotion of technically sound policies, and the strengthening of channels for citizen participation."

The CAF-UNDP Annual Conference on Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean serves as a unique space for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and best practices regarding effective governance and its impact on sustainable development. The dialogue was moderated by Isabel Saint Malo, former Vice President and former Foreign Minister of Panama, and addressed crucial topics such as evidence-based policy promotion, the strengthening of citizen participation, and the building of strategic alliances.

"The challenge is to use the democracy we have to improve it and also to generate the results that citizens demand. The goal is to find the mechanisms and strengthen them," emphasized Gerardo Munck, Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California.

Laura Chinchilla, former President of Costa Rica, warned: "Overlapping crises will become the norm. We not only see a set of issues stemming from the pandemic but we also face structural crises: climate change, technological change, and demographic change. To the ongoing crisis that we will have to continue managing, we must add fear as a prevalent sentiment among the global population."

"It was only with the 2030 Agenda that human development was linked to institutionalization through SDG 16. It is impossible to achieve development without a solid institutional framework. This should dispel any doubts about proper governance and development," emphasized Susana Malcorra, Founder of GWL Voices and former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina.

Jorge Castañeda, former Foreign Minister of Mexico, raised the challenges of governance in the digital age: "Either there must be some form of social media regulation or the traditional media must be strengthened in some way. Otherwise, we may quickly find ourselves in a very dangerous situation because traditional media has less and less influence, especially among young people who primarily obtain information through unregulated networks. This is a huge challenge because we already have weak regulatory capacity."

The conference, held within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly, will contribute to strengthening regional ties and promoting inclusive and sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean. UNDP and CAF will continue to work together in a dialogue process to deepen engagement and create a space for collaboration with various actors and sectors in the region as part of their efforts to contribute to sustainable and inclusive development in the region.


For more information about the CAF-UNDP Annual Conference on Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean, please visit the official event website:



Media Contacts:

Ana María Currea,

Mario Huck,


About UNDP:

The United Nations Development Programme is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our extensive network of experts and partners in 170 countries and territories, we help nations build integrated and lasting solutions for people and the planet.

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About CAF:

CAF - Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean is a leading financial institution in Latin America and the Caribbean that seeks to promote sustainable development and regional integration. CAF promotes investment in infrastructure and productive development, job creation, and the strengthening of institutions.

More information at: