Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean reaffirmed today the importance of advancing towards modern planning with a long-term vision, citizen participation and the mainstreaming of gender equality and open government, with a view to implementing the 2030 Agenda, during the inauguration of the XVII Meeting of the Regional Council for Planning, which is being held through Friday, August 30 in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The biennial gathering was inaugurated by Álvaro García, Director of Uruguay’s Planning and Budget Office; Javier Abugattás, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Strategic Planning (CEPLAN) of Peru; and Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
At the opening ceremony, Uruguay took over from Peru the presidency of the Regional Council for Planning (RCP), a position it will hold for the next two years.
In his remarks, Álvaro García reaffirmed his country’s commitment to planning for sustainable development and indicated that Uruguay assumes the RCP’s presidency “with joy and great commitment.”
He added that the challenge for the region is to move towards a type of planning that is tangible to citizens, so they can better take advantage of public policies with a sustainable development approach.
Javier Abugattás, meanwhile, thanked ECLAC along with its Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES) for the support provided to Peru over the last two years.
In addition, he sustained that the region must redouble its efforts so the 2030 Agenda can become a reality on the ground in the territories, and in people’s daily lives.
“This requires efforts and state policies that remain unaltered with changes in government. We must manage to institutionalize them,” he said.
ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, meanwhile, stressed that the quality of institutions, their processes and instruments is directly related to the possibility of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We need robust institutions with effective governmental leadership so that, with the participation of all stakeholders, they can lead the processes of structural change needed for development with equality and sustainability,” she stated.
She recalled that, in the 21st century, planning has made a comeback in conjunction with global and regional consensuses that have given it the importance it is due, with new characteristics, in a new global, regional and national context.
“Modern planning has new characteristics and challenges, including a long-term vision, cross-cutting focuses on gender equality and open government, citizen participation, policy evaluation, the importance of the territory where all the dimensions of inequality converge, and flexibility,” she indicated.
Bárcena underscored that Latin America and the Caribbean needs to further the creation of a new development model, with shared global and regional objectives.
Furthermore, she noted that the strengthening of multilateralism in the region takes on great importance for its development given that the region’s countries are left out of the international cooperation system, due to their classification as middle income, according to metrics and parameters that hide the poverty and inequality that subsist within them.
“We already sustained this at the BAPA + 40 Conference: the region needs a kind of cooperation that responds to national challenges without disregarding the repercussions in a multipolar and interconnected world. Latin America and the Caribbean needs international cooperation and not to be ‘graduated’ on the basis of traditional metrics that hide deep inequalities in our countries,” she stated.
In the framework of this meeting, ECLAC presented the position document Planning for sustainable territorial development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which analyzes 153 territorial policies from the region, their multiple approaches and thematic focuses, and proposes a working model to address them in a systemic fashion.
The Regional Council for Planning is the intergovernmental subsidiary body that guides the activities of ILPES.
This event is being attended by senior authorities from 24 countries in the region, seven of which are Caribbean nations.