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ECLAC Member Countries Review Preparations for the First Meeting of the Forum on Sustainable Development

Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet to the United Nations Secretary-General, and Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, spoke at the thirty-second session of the regional organization’s Committee of the Whole, chaired by Mexico.
Press Release |
30 January 2017
Imagen del trigésimo segundo período de sesiones del Comité Plenario de la CEPAL.
De izquierda a derecha, el Secretario Ejecutivo Adjunto para Administración y Análisis de Programas de la CEPAL, Raúl García-Buchaca; la Jefa de Gabinete del Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti; el Representante Permanente de México ante las Naciones Unidas, Juan José Gómez Camacho, como Presidente del Comité Plenario; la Secretaria Ejecutiva de la CEPAL, Alicia Bárcena, y el Oficial a Cargo de la Secretaría de la Comisión, Luis F. Yáñez.

Meeting today in New York City at the regional organization’s Committee of the Whole, the ECLAC member countries’ representatives to the United Nations examined the prevailing economic and social situation and reviewed preparations for the first meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development. At that meeting, which will take place in Mexico in April under the auspices of ECLAC, eleven States will present voluntary reports on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The thirty-second session of the Committee of the Whole, a subsidiary body of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), opened with an address by the Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations, Juan José Gómez Camacho, in his capacity as Chair of the Committee of the Whole. Remarks were then given by the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, and by the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena.

“The world will be looking towards Latin America and the Caribbean as a reference point for good practices and models for following up on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, speaking of the upcoming first meeting of the Forum. Created in May 2016, this new regional mechanism for monitoring progress with the 2030 Agenda is led by the States and is open to participation by other regional and subregional institutions, civil society organizations, academics and the private sector.

“The UN Regional Commissions play a key role by serving as platforms for policy dialogue and exchanges of experiences on the specific circumstances of each region,” said Ribeiro. She went on to explain that the Forum would allow ties to be forged between discussions at the global and regional levels, and that it would also ensure follow-up of the 2030 Agenda’s 17 SDGs, which were adopted by the international community in 2015, and would help detect challenges in funding and the availability of statistics.

ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena then gave a presentation on the current economic and social panorama in Latin America and the Caribbean, highlighting major global trends, the new hemispheric context and the regional organization’s proposal for implementing the 2030 Agenda, which is focused on promoting progressive structural change through a big environmental push.

Bárcena explained that ECLAC supports the region’s countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda by preparing an analytical framework for implementation measures, by promoting the inclusion of the SDGs in development plans and by the creation of a Regional Planning Observatory, as well as through capacity-building in the areas of data and statistics, strengthening the regional architecture for following up on and reviewing the SDGs and coordinating the Forum itself.

Regarding the programme for the Forum’s first meeting —which is to take place in Mexico City on April 26 to 28, attended by the 45 Member States and 13 Associate Members of ECLAC— Alicia Bárcena explained that it will involve a discussion on the progress made with the SDGs at the national level, peer-to-peer learning through the eleven reports that are to be submitted and the review of the annual progress report on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda that ECLAC has been asked to produce.

The meeting of the Committee of the Whole, which took place at UN Headquarters in New York City, also received a report by ECLAC on the activities of the Commission’s nine subsidiary bodies since its thirty-sixth session, held in Mexico City in May 2016, and a report by the Committee’s Chair on the specific preparations underway for the Forum’s first meeting.

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