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Authorities Establish the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development
Representatives of Governments gathered at ECLAC’s thirty-sixth session in Mexico decided to establish today the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development as a regional mechanism to follow-up and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, its means of implementation, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development.
The resolution was approved at the closure of the biennial meeting in Mexico City, after a Dialogue of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and high-level authorities presided by Claudia Ruiz Massieu, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, with the participation of Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary; Isabel de Saint-Malo de Alvarado, Vice-President and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Panama; Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment of Cuba; María Ángela Holguín Cuellar, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia; Carlos Raúl Morales Moscoso, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala; Ana María Sánchez de Ríos, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Peru; and Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The Forum approved this Friday by acclamation will be State-led and open to the participation of all Latin American and Caribbean countries. It will be convened under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and will be guided by the principles established for all follow-up and review processes by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the 193 UN member states in September 2015.
According to the resolution, the Secretariat of ECLAC will issue an annual progress report, four weeks in advance of the respective meeting of the Forum. The report will be considered a regional contribution for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development –under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)- and its Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up. Authorities also agreed the preparation of a quadrennial progress report.
The report will assess the regional progress and challenges in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, on the basis of agreed indicators and other contributions from ECLAC’s subsidiary bodies and on national-level reviews, as appropriate, and it will provide policy recommendations to be considered by the Forum.
This new Forum, the resolution says, should provide useful opportunities for peer learning, including through voluntary reviews, the sharing of best practices and discussion of shared targets, benefiting from the cooperation of the regional and subregional commissions and organizations in order to guide an inclusive regional process.
The agreement established today points to at least 16 actions through which the Forum will contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and of the Addis Adaba Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, as well as to the achievement of the SDGs.
Among them, the resolution highlights strengthening coordination, promoting cooperation and providing political guidance through recommendations for sustainable development at the regional level; and fostering the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner.
The particular focus will be the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions, the promotion of sustained, equitable and inclusive economic growth, including sustainable consumption and production patterns, the reduction of inequality and the promotion of social inclusion, the recognition of cultural diversity and of the role of culture as a crucial enabler of sustainable development, the protection and sustainable use of the environment, and the promotion of good living in harmony with nature.
The agreement also indicates that the Forum will “build on existing platforms and mandates, avoiding duplications and the creation of additional structures, and that within existing resources it will promote coordination and coherence within the United Nations development system, and invite other relevant regional and subregional entities and international financial institutions to be involved in its meetings.”
In that sense, in a letter sent to ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, three United Nations’ funds and programmes (UN Women, UNFPA and UNICEF) congratulated ECLAC for the conformation of the Forum and praised the fact that this regional mechanism is built on existing platforms and mandates, promoting coordination and coherence within the United Nations system, by receiving reports from ECLAC’s subsidiary bodies in which the three institutions have an active participation.
In addition, organizations and networks of civil society that participated in the event appreciated the establishment of the Forum “as a very significant step for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at a regional level.”
The resolution approved today poses that the Forum will recognize the special needs and particular challenges of landlocked developing countries, small-island developing States, middle-income countries, least developed countries, and countries in situations of conflict and post-conflict, in order to respond to the universal character of the 2030 Agenda.
Finally, the Forum is encouraged to guarantee the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including civil society organizations, academia and the private sector.
- Resolutions of ECLAC’s thirty-sixth session.
- Infography. Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development.
- Letter from UN Women, UNFPA and UNICEF (Spanish only).
- Letter from NGOs (Spanish only).
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Félix Ibáñez, Officer-in-Charge of ECLAC’s Public Information Unit. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Telephone: (56) 22210 2040. Cell Phone: (569) 7 967 8306.