SANTIAGO, Chile (CMC) – The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) says its executive secretary, Alicia Bárcena, has met with the United Nations Under-Secretary-General in charge of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Liu Zhenmin, in strengthening cooperation in order to assist the region in fulfilling the UN’s 2030 Agenda.
“During the meeting, both UN entities reaffirmed the cooperation ties that unite them and renewed their pledge to continue working together to help the global organisation’s member countries to advance on fulfilling the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to confront the main global economic challenges,” said ECLAC.
At the meeting, in which representatives from the 11 substantive areas that make up ECLAC participated, Liu was accompanied by Navid Hanif, director of DESA’s Financing for Sustainable Development Office.
ECLAC said Bárcena and Liu agreed on the need to combine efforts, increase exchanges and strengthen joint initiatives that allow for taking the needs of countries that are pursuing more sustainable development to the main bodies for follow-up of the 2030 Agenda in the United Nations – particularly the High-level Political Forum, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the General Assembly.
“The UN system must be prepared to help its member countries along their path toward sustainable development,” Liu said. “We have the responsibility to expose countries to what are the challenges ahead of us, and we must especially avoid and prevent a new global crisis. This is a very critical moment.”
Liu said that ECLAC and DESA will continue strengthening cooperation “since we work in the same areas and on the same goals”, according to ECLAC.
Bárcena reaffirmed that DESA is one of ECLAC’s main allies and insisted on the importance of the 2030 Agenda’s follow-up mechanisms, such as the regional forums, among them the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, which will hold its third session in April 2019.
The High-level Political Forum takes place each year at the UN headquarters in New York.
“Precisely, at our regional Forum in 2019, we are going to analyse the challenges that we will be faced with in the future,” Bárcena said.
“We have also begun a dialogue between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean about the 2030 Agenda since we believe that it is a universal agenda in which the entire United Nations community should be involved,” she added.
ECLAC said Bárcena underscored “some crucial issues for the region” that will be discussed at future meetings organised by the Commission and its cooperating partners, such as the European Union.
These include: financing for development in countries in transition, especially those considered to be in the middle-income category; the digital economy and innovation at a regional level; employment; climate change; equality, which is the centre of the organisation’s current work; and access to environmental democracy.