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Countries Create a New Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean
With the creation of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Thirty-fifth session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) ended today in Lima, Peru. Starting on Monday, May 5, the event brought together government authorities, officials from the United Nations system, representatives of non-governmental organizations and regional experts.
The establishment of this new subsidiary body of ECLAC aims to improve national policies on social development, as well as international, regional and bilateral cooperation on this matter. Other goals include examining multidimensional poverty and advancing in the measurement of poverty, inequality and structural gaps. The first meeting of the Conference will take place during the second half of 2015 in Peru.
Delegates from ECLAC's member States and associate members who were gathered in Lima underscored the regional organization's systematic collaboration in this area and took into account that in 2015, 20 years will have passed since the Global Summit for Social Development was held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The meeting held this week in Lima was attended by Peruvian President Ollanta Humala and Uruguayan Vice President Danilo Astori, as well as five foreign affairs ministers and 15 other ministers from 41 delegations of ECLAC's member States.
In another resolution approved today, the countries recognized the Commission's session as an important space to dialogue about the region's vision of the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals.
Likewise, the countries urged ECLAC to boost regional cooperation to apply the 10th principle of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Currently, 18 countries in the region, with ECLAC as its technical secretariat, are in the process of adopting a regional instrument for the implementation of this principle, which aims to strengthen the rights of information access, participation and justice in environmental issues.
Country delegates appreciated the complementary and coordinated work done by ECLAC's different subsidiary bodies, including the Statistical Conference of the Americas, the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee.
The representatives supported, as well, the work of the Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES) and called on countries to participate in the preparatory meeting for the Fifth Ministerial Conference on the Information Society of Latin America and the Caribbean this year in Costa Rica, and in the Conference itself, scheduled for 2015 in Mexico.
As part of the resolutions, the Commission's work program for the biennium 2016-2017 was approved, and there was general consensus of the integrated approach to development contained in the document Compacts for Equality: Towards a sustainable future, which was presented during the meeting in Peru.
On another point, Latin American and Caribbean delegations expressed their concern about the decline in resources allocated to the Commission, considering the growing number of activities that the organization carries out.
Finally, national representatives accepted Saint Martin as an associate member of ECLAC and agreed that the Thirty-sixth session will be held in 2016 in Mexico.