Barbados to host LAC’s Ministerial Forum next year

SANTIAGO – Barbados has been selected as the host venue for the the XVI Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) next year.

The island was chosen at the end of the Fifth Session of the Regional Conference on Social Development in LAC and at the XV Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America that ended here on Thursday.

A statement issued following the meeting noted that the conference would be held in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Sixth Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Social Development in LAC in 2024. The exact date of the meeting was not disclosed.

But it noted that the presiding officers of the regional conference was now made up of Chile as Chair with Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama and Venezuela as Vice-Chairs.

According to the statement, representatives of LAC countries who attended the meeting here reaffirmed the importance of putting people and their rights at the heart of development, safeguarding the progress the region has achieved on inclusive social development through appropriate social investment, and halting the setbacks prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic and cascading crises.

The meeting was attended by an estimated 108 delegates from 18 countries in the region as well as representatives of United Nations organisations, financial institutions, development banks and cooperation agencies, members of civil society and academics.

“To achieve a transformative recovery, the countries reiterated their conviction that the sustained creation of productive employment and decent work, together with comprehensive, universal, sustainable and resilient social protection systems that make it possible to ensure access to quality education and health, housing and basic services, and care policies that ensure co-responsibility between the State and society and between women and men, are indispensable,” the statement noted.

It said that resolution approved by delegates recognised “the importance of institutional frameworks for social policy and governance of decision-making in social policies, which enable the implementation of the Regional Agenda for Inclusive Social Development, with a view to achieving the objectives of the social dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

In that regard, they stressed the importance of moving forward resolutely to strengthen the four dimensions of the institutional framework for social policy  in order to have high-quality public policies that are effective, efficient, transparent and sustainable.

The delegates also stated that multilateralism and cooperation are essential to making headway on implementing the 2030 Agenda in the region, emphasising the contribution of civil society and other stakeholders to the process of discussing the Regional Agenda for Inclusive Social Development.

Furthermore, the resolution urges the ministries of social development and equivalent entities to strengthen South-South and triangular cooperation mechanisms for development, inclusion and social protection.

It noted that the Regional Conference on Social Development in LAC can serve as an exceptional platform for taking the region’s voice to the World Social Summit that will be held in 2025. (CMC)

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