CARICOM foreign ministers have joined their counterparts in Latin America in signing a political declaration for a “sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery” post the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said the declaration was signed in the framework of its current 38th Session.
The declaration was unveiled during the dialogue of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and high-level officials of Latin America and the Caribbean on the post-pandemic economic recovery, which was inaugurated by Rodolfo Solano, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica, in his capacity as President of the United Nations regional commission’s 38th session, along with ECLAC’s executive secretary, Alicia Bárcena.
ECLAC said 28 foreign ministers and senior authorities expressed their shared view that international financial solidarity, renewed multilateralism and the strengthening of regional integration are urgently needed for a post-COVID-19 recovery, with equality and sustainability.
“This political declaration constitutes for us at ECLAC not only a mandate and guide for developing our mission but also a fundamental sign that it is possible for the region to raise a single voice amid the historic challenges that this crucial time requires us to face,” Bárcena said.
She said as the United Nations commemorates its 75th anniversary, “we can say that here within the framework of ECLAC, Latin American and Caribbean multilateralism, its vocation for cooperation and integration, has expressed itself yet again, strongly and clearly.”
The meeting’s political declaration urgently called for solidarity, multilateralism and international cooperation to be intensified at all levels, including North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation, as well as partnerships between the public and private sectors, “to contain, mitigate and overcome the pandemic and its consequences through people-centered responses that would take gender issues into account and fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Furthermore, they requested the swift and effective mobilization of resources to tackle development problems, and urged member states and other interested parties—including the private sector and international financial institutions—to mobilize a “coordinated, comprehensive and large-scale global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.”
In addition, the officials urged states to “refrain from promulgating and applying unilateral measures of an economic, financial or trade-related nature that are incompatible with international law and the United Nations Charter and that would impede the full attainment of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.
In the political declaration, the authorities also urged member states and other relevant stakeholders to accelerate the “catalytic role” that digital technologies play in reducing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education, health, communications, commerce and economic recovery, and to ensure a path towards the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals while also making progress on closing the digital gap, including the gender digital divide.
Additionally, the officials “recognized that inequalities—and widening inequality gaps even more so—continue to be a predominant trait in Latin American and Caribbean countries, even in those with high economic growth.”
The ministers underscored that in order to reduce inequalities, it is necessary to increase investment in social services, particularly social protection services, as well as to foster economic opportunities.
“Economic growth needs to be sustained, inclusive and equitable,” they emphasized.