eclWithin the scope of the Regional consultation on financing for development held in Chile, Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), spoke about the challenges of development and social inclusion, its impact on the most vulnerable populations and the role of civil society in the agenda of development.
“I think today we are fulfilling some aspirations, at least having an agenda with more inclusive and universal objectives of sustainable development is a breakthrough on this issue. I think that many of the shortcomings of those commitments that were taken in Rio, Cairo and Beijing were not met because of lack of political will, because I believe that money and finance are not the problem (…) Latin America had major advances, people came out of poverty, we moved forward in terms of inequality, but there are many shortcomings still (…)” Said Mrs. Bárcena.
Also, Mrs. Bárcena believes that the call for inclusion and social equality is vital, since talking about equality is talking about rights and the latter are fundamental issues regarding political, social and economic rights. Equality is precisely based on rights, those rights that are universal by definition and what we need to consider is how we will reach those universal rights, either with a structural change or a change of paradigm.
Civil society has had great impact and activism in the last decade. Indeed, in a way, organized civil society determined many results in recent years. Similarly, many substantive issues were discussed, both on actions to be taken at a national and international level.
“(…) I believe that civil society has to monitor and play a very important role in accountability, because each actor has different responsibilities and here the State has certain responsibilities, civil society others and the private sector has others. Then what we need to achieve is new compacts to be able to actually go ahead and say ‘ this is the direction we will take, we want a society with greater equality, and we want a change in the productive structure”. She concluded.
The Regional consultation on financing for development was held from 12th to 13th March in Santiago de Chile and it was organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile. In addition, it counted with the participation of an important delegation of civil society, Government representatives and authorities of the United Nations.