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29 May 2013) At the Twenty-seventh Session of the Committee of the Whole of ECLAC, on 28 and 29 May 2013 in New York, Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of this United Nations regional commission, set out topics including the position of the region today and the implications of the proposed structural change for equality spearheaded by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Speaking to delegates from the Commission’s 33 Member States and associate members in the conference hall of the United Nations Headquarters, Ms. Bárcena stated “Structural change proposes a long-term vision and gives meaning to planning in the 21st century”.
The welcoming address was delivered by Carlos Enrique García, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations. El Salvador is the Chair of the Twenty-seventh Session of the Committee of the Whole of ECLAC, which is a forum for member countries to meet between the official sessions of the Commission.
During the meeting, Raúl García-Buchaca, Director of the ECLAC Division of Programme Planning and Operations, and Diane Quarless, Director of the ECLAC Subregional headquarters in the Caribbean, gave a presentation on the Commission’s strategic focus and its impact on the 2014-2015 programme of work. Luis F. Yáñez, Officer-in-Charge of the Secretariat of the Commission, and Ms. Quarless, presented the Report on the activities of the subsidiary bodies of ECLAC, 2012- 2013.
Alicia Bárcena and the Director of ECLAC Subregional headquarters in the Caribbean presented the main conclusions from the document Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Follow-up to the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015 and to Rio+20, which was drafted by ECLAC officials with the support of other United Nations agencies. Other speakers on this topic included George Gray Molina, Chief Economist for Latin America of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Delegations welcomed the presentations by ECLAC officials and stressed the importance of the Commission increasing its presence at the United Nations Headquarters, for instance by holding technical and intergovernmental meetings focused on the post-2015 process.
Participants also discussed the possibility of organizing a meeting of ECLAC officials and system agencies and permanent representatives of Latin America and the Caribbean to the United Nations in October to analyse the post-2015 development agenda.
Representatives from Caribbean countries praised the activities carried out by the ECLAC Subregional headquarters in Port-of-Spain, particularly in terms of small island developing States (SIDS) and the post-2015 process. Delegates were also pleased to receive the document on middle-income countries prepared by the Commission.