Peruvian Foreign Affairs Minister, Eda Rivas, also participated in the ceremony.
The Peruvian President-who praised ECLAC’s legacy and contribution to Latin American thinking-indicated that “today, with a strengthened citizenry, we have the challenge of rebuilding a more modern and efficient state.”
In his speech, Ollanta Humala stressed that it is necessary to create an ode to equality. “We are not the poorest region but we are the most unequal. How can this challenge be understood? We have made the mistake of confusing poverty with inequality, we have wanted to fight poverty without building social policies to fight inequality”, he said.
“Today the region faces bigger challenges to continue along the uphill path towards equality-associated with the full entitlement of rights-and to expand into the different arenas in which that equality plays out”, Alicia Bárcena said in her speech.
The senior official indicated that the change in the natural resources cycle, as well as the expected reduction of capital flows and global liquidity and the possible rise in interest rates, mean the region is facing a less favorable scenario in the future.
“To protect the social achievements already made it is necessary to promote, through a renewed set of institutional and political reforms, a new path for sustainable growth with rising degrees of equality,” Alicia Bárcena stressed. “Our conviction is clear: we must boost equality to grow and grow to boost equality or, as you have said, Mr. President, grow to include and include to grow,” she added.
The biennial session is the most important meeting that ECLAC organizes. It is attended by delegates from the Commission’s 40 member states, international officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations, academic personalities and special guests.
In this regional forum for debate, economic, social and environmental issues affecting Latin American and Caribbean countries are discussed and the Commission’s program of work for the next two years is approved.
In this opportunity, ECLAC is presenting the document Compacts for Equality: Towards a Sustainable Future, the organization’s latest strategic proposal aimed at boosting regional development, which completes the so-called “equality trilogy” published by ECLAC since 2010.
The document poses the need to build broad national and regional accords on matters such as taxation and industrial policy, the working world and the provision of public goods, and the governance of natural resources and environmental sustainability-as well as other areas that are key to development.
“The policies enshrined in compacts can offer a more robust and long-lasting framework for formulating medium- and long-term orientations within countries,” explained ECLAC’s Executive Secretary.
According to her, “betting on equality requires compacts, broad political agreements, with a strategic horizon and involving a wide range of actors who can guarantee their continuity and invigorate people’s exercise of their civic duties.”
As part of the activities of ECLAC’s Thirty-fifth session, a seminar will be held on Wednesday on the challenges of regional integration, where the document Regional Integration: Towards a Strategy for Inclusive Value Chains will be presented. Another seminar about compacts for equality will take place on Thursday.
In the closing ceremony, which will take place on Friday after a dialogue between senior Latin American and Caribbean officials, the resolutions from the gathering will be unveiled.