(March 26, 2015) The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, met with Nicolás Maduro, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Caracas today as part of her tour of the South American country.
The United Nations high official also met with Vice President Jorge Arreaza and the expanded Social Welfare Cabinet. The meeting was attended by ministers from the Social Welfare area, as well as that area’s Vice President, Héctor Rodríguez, and Planning and Knowledge Vice President, Ricardo Mendéndez.
Bárcena was accompanied by a delegation that included Luis F. Yáñez, Officer-in-Charge of the Secretary of the Commission; Daniel Titelman, Director of ECLAC’s Economic Development Division; Fernando Medina, Regional Advisor for the organization’s Statistics Division; and Niky Fabiancic, Representative for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Venezuela.
ECLAC’s Executive Secretary also met with high officials from other state agencies, such as Raúl Pacheco, Director of the Venezuelan National Institute of Statistics (INE according to its initials in Spanish), and visited the Sinaí Social Missions Base in the Caracas parish (neighborhood) of La Vega.
Sinaí is one of the logistical centers for programs aimed at nutrition, health, education, culture and sports built by the country’s government in impoverished areas. During her visit, Bárcena spoke with women and community leaders and got to witness extreme poverty being combatted first-hand.
In her interview with President Maduro, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary reiterated the institution’s commitment to support the government of Venezuela and contribute to perfecting the work it is doing on social policies.
“Fighting poverty is a goal that has been posed by CELAC’s governments and was born here, in Caracas, to eradicate extreme poverty in its entirety. The only acceptable value for poverty is zero,” stated Bárcena.