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ECLAC and Cuba Join in a Dialogue about its Path to Sustainable Development

Alicia Bárcena, the organization’s Executive Secretary, participated in a session dedicated to the host country prior to the inauguration of the Commission’s thirty-seventh session.
Press Release |
7 May 2018
Día Nacional de Cuba en el PSES 37
Alicia Bárcena, Secretaria Ejecutiva de la CEPAL, durante la inauguración del Día Nacional de Cuba, en la antesala del 37 período de sesiones de la CEPAL.

The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, reaffirmed today the United Nations regional organization’s commitment to accompanying Cuba, and all the organization’s member countries, on its own journey toward sustainable development, in the session prior to the inauguration of the thirty-seventh session of ECLAC, which was dedicated to the host country of the gathering taking place through Friday, May 11, in Havana.

During National Day, organized by the Cuban government to analyze ECLAC’s contribution to the economic and social thinking of Latin America and the Caribbean, Alicia Bárcena expressed appreciation for the progress made in Cuba on implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its commitment to a comprehensive approach to development.

“ECLAC, as well as the government of Cuba, have both pointed on numerous occasions to the importance of a comprehensive approach to development, which is to say, development in which the economy advances, with social progress and respect for the environment, which gives rise to sustainable development,” the regional Commission’s highest representative stated.

During her speech, the senior United Nations official highlighted the historical relationship between ECLAC and Cuba, in which mutual respect and trust have prevailed.

She added that, ten years ago, ECLAC initiated a process of reflection that put equality at the center of the development agenda, with proposals for progressive structural change.

“Today we uphold our conviction that Latin America and the Caribbean must continue on the path toward equality,” Alicia Bárcena said.

She also stressed that an active State that avoids precariousness with regard to all that is public is a fundamental condition for sustainable development with equality.

Furthermore, she reaffirmed the organization’s concern regarding the current global scenario with trends toward the strengthening of protectionism and unilateralism.

“As never before, the issues of poverty, immigration, war and inequality are global issues. Climate change and the threat that it represents to future generations is, by definition, an issue that knows no borders. As never before, humanity confronts the need to cooperate globally on a multilateral basis and with mutual respect. This is a cause that ECLAC has made its best efforts to further,” she stated.

National Day was inaugurated by Rodrigo Malmierca, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, who affirmed that the thirty-seventh session of ECLAC has a singular relevance due to the pertinence of the issues that will be addressed, its role in the development of Latin America and the Caribbean and its coincidence with the regional organization’s 70th anniversary.

In addition, he stressed the importance of the debates that will take place this week, centered on ECLAC’s position paper The Inefficiency of Inequality, which the regional Commission will officially present on Thursday, May 10.

Malmierca added that in the last seven decades “ECLAC has not only been present, it has been a protagonist, providing support and serving as a leader of economic-social thinking in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Other participants in the activity included Stefano Manservisi, the European Commission’s Director-General for International Cooperation and Development; Mario Pezzini, Director of the Development Center of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and Consuelo Vidal, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Cuba, among other authorities.

The attendees debated at panels that addressed issues such as the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development with equality and foreign investment.

They also addressed South-South cooperation, with ECLAC’s Executive Secretary highlighting that international cooperation must take into account the global public goods agenda for which horizontal, South-South and triangular or trilateral cooperation are key to a comprehensive perspective.

“In addition, international cooperation must seek partnerships with the private sector, development banks, local governments and civil society,” she added.

In parallel, a meeting was held at which Caribbean countries addressed, among other issues, climate resilience and regional solidarity.

ECLAC’s thirty-seventh session will be officially inaugurated tomorrow, Tuesday, May 8, by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres; the regional organization’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena; the Chief of Staff of Mexico’s Office of the President, Francisco Guzmán; and a Cuban authority. The event will run through Friday, May 11.

All the information pertaining to this meeting is available on the website

You can follow all the details of the session on social media with the hashtags #igualdadALC and #equalityLAC.

More information:


For queries and to arrange interviews in Cuba, contact ECLAC’s Public Information Unit via Whatsapp at the following number: +52 1 55 5416 9297.


For other queries regarding journalistic coverage of the event, contact ECLAC’s Public Information Unit in Santiago, Chile.

Email:; Telephone: (56) 22210 2040.

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