Countries of the Region Call for Thinking of Planning as a Space Where Equality and Sustainability Converge

EclacECLAC’s XV Conference of Ministers and Heads of Planning of Latin America and the Caribbean was inaugurated today in Lima, Peru.

(October 11, 2017) Planning is a space for the convergence of equality and sustainability and a key element for regional integration with a view to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the representatives of Latin American and Caribbean countries gathered at the XV Conference of Ministers and Heads of Planning in Lima, Peru, agreed today.

The meeting was inaugurated by Javier Abugattás, Chair of the Board of Directors at Peru’s National Center for Strategic Planning (CEPLAN), and Raúl García-Buchaca, Deputy Executive Secretary for Administration and Program Planning of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Other participants in the opening ceremony included Duberlí Rodríguez, President of Peru’s Supreme Court of Justice; Miguel Ángel Moir, Guatemala’s Secretary for Planning and Programming; Andrés Mideros, Ecuador’s National Secretary of Planning and Development; and Cielo Morales, Director of ECLAC’s Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES).

At the Conference’s inauguration, Javier Abugattás highlighted the importance of planning in Latin America and the Caribbean and presented his country’s progress on strategic planning.

In addition, he reviewed the scope of the Voluntary National Report on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that Peru presented in 2017.

Meanwhile, during his inaugural presentation entitled “Planning as a means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the framework of the 2030 Agenda,” Raúl García-Buchaca underscored that “planning is a space of convergence for building a better future with equality and sustainability.”

He specified that planning is a technical-political exercise that faces new challenges as a means of implementing the 2030 Agenda in its drive to articulate the dimensions of time, space and actors for sustainable development.

The senior ECLAC official stated that the 2030 Agenda is a great opportunity for everyone, but especially for States that need to reformulate their relations with different actors involved in development.

He added that Latin America and the Caribbean must reclaim the value of what is public, adding that, to this end, it needs “States that engage in quality public administration, with participation, transparency and accountability to the citizenry.”

Furthermore, Raúl García-Buchaca praised the creation of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development – the mechanism for follow-up and review of implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including the SDGs and their targets, its means of implementation, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda – which held its first meeting last April in Mexico City.

Minister Miguel Ángel Moir, Co-chair of the Regional Council for Planning, emphasized that defining short, medium and long-term processes is indispensable to achieving the 2030 Agenda.

“In Guatemala we have many gaps to close, so we must set priorities such as poverty reduction, for example,” the Minister said.

Secretary Andrés Mideros, meanwhile, sustained that in order to fulfill the SDGs, it is fundamental that countries bet on regional integration.

“Planning is a technical element but it is also an element for integration,” he indicated.

Cielo Morales, the Director of ILPES, addressed the scope and objectives of the ministerial Conference and noted that in the last 30 years, the region has moved from a vision of planning centered on economic issues – where the short term was the priority – to a broader vision aimed at achieving sustainable development.

She said that in the current context, “planning is contemplated in a more complex and dynamic environment that requires timely, innovative and coherent responses, with new global agendas that help us orient public policies toward the achievement of globally agreed-upon goals.”

The meeting, which is the prelude to the XVI Meeting of the Regional Council for Planning, was attended by Ministers from Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Guatemala, Peru and Uruguay; Deputy Ministers from Argentina, the Dominican Republic and Paraguay; and Directors and Division Heads from Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica and Panama.

The Conference of Ministers, which concludes today, will lead into the XVI Meeting of the Regional Council for Planning, the intergovernmental subsidiary body that guides ILPES’s activities and gathers in the framework of the Conference of Ministers. This meeting will take place on Thursday, October 12, in Lima.

Meanwhile, on Friday, October 13, the IV Planning Sessions will be held. This is a dialogue with academia that will address the central theme of comparative experiences between the Republic of Korea and Latin America and the Caribbean on sustainable territories and cities and their challenges for research and planning.

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