Guyana participates in sustainable development confab in Colombia


Authorities from several Latin American and Caribbean countries and international experts last week agreed on the urgency of building a global, unified, comprehensive and equitable post-2015 development agenda that is relevant to everyone.

The occasion was the closing session of a regional conference in Bogotá, Colombia on Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Follow-up to the development agenda beyond 2015 and Rio+20. The conference began on March 7 in Bogotá and was organised by the government of Colombia and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and was attended by all United Nations agencies in the region, as well as intergovernmental and civil-society organisations. The meeting was held as the region’s first step towards adopting a regional perspective on examining progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda, as well as the agreements adopted at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in June 2012. The closing ceremony was attended by ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena, Saint Lucia Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Aviation Minister Alva Baptiste, Brazil Foreign Affairs Minister Antonio Patriota, and Colombia Foreign Affairs Minister María Ángela Holguín.


The event was also attended by Guyana Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, who is chair of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC), a subsidiary body of ECLAC, Antigua and Barbuda, Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture Minister John Maginley, Jamaica Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Arnaldo Brown, Trinidad and Tobago Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran and Caricom Assistant Secretary General Colin Granderson. Bárcena said that participants had come to the meeting “to listen to each other, to rediscover the value of being together and to enrich our own reflections with the invaluable input of others’ views. We are living in a time of unprecedented regional unity, and we have a historic opportunity to jointly rethink an equality-based development paradigm”.

According to Minister Alva Baptiste, “Discussions have been focused and productive, and we now have much information to guide us in our ambitious post-2015 development agenda.” Minister Antonio Patriota stated that, in recent years, discussions on sustainable development had become more important and in depth, while MDGs had inspired new enthusiasm for action in the international community. The post-2015 agenda will therefore have two complementary dimensions: continued advances in MDGs and a consolidation of the results of Rio+20.

Minister María Ángela Holguín stated that “We should all consider the success of this meeting as an incentive to continue working together as a region, with the constructive attitude that has guided these discussions.  This Latin American and Caribbean meeting is an important guideline for the deliberations of the UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda.”

Over three days, participants discussed the challenges facing the region in terms of building a more ambitious post-2015 development agenda that promotes growth with greater cultural awareness, solidarity with the most vulnerable societies, inclusion, protection, social equality and environmental sustainability. The event was attended by the foreign ministers of Guatemala and Costa Rica as well as vice ministers from several countries. Also in attendance were United Nations Development Group – Latin America and the Caribbean (UNDG-LAC) Chair Heraldo Muñoz, UN Secretary General Post-2015 Development Planning Advisor Amina J Mohammed, members of the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda Gisela Alonso and Patricia Espinosa and Minister María Ángela Holguín.

The inter-agency UN document, Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean:  Follow-up to the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015 and to Rio+20, was presented during the conference, includes contributions from 17 United Nations agencies in the region, and was coordinated by ECLAC. The report states the need for a new development model based on structural change for equality and environmental sustainability. According to the inter-agency publication, global governance for sustainable development should be based around fair trade, technology transfer, international financial reform and new funding mechanisms, the promotion of South-South cooperation and the strengthening of social participation mechanisms. The conference was preceded by the Caribbean forum: “Shaping a Sustainable Development Agenda to address the Caribbean Reality in the 21st Century”, which was also held in Bogotá on March 5 and 6.

Last modified on Monday, 28 April 2014 15:52
Written on Monday, 11 March 2013 Published in News Stories Read 1073 times