Cuba will host this week the 37th Session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the most important intergovernmental meeting of this United Nations body, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary.
Havana will host the forum for the first time since the triumph of the Revolution, in which crucial issues for the economic and social development of the countries of the region will be analyzed.
Cuba is an ECLAC founding member, and has participated in its activities since 1948. It hosted the second regular session in 1949.
Below, we outline some of the main topics that will be addressed this week in Havana’s International Conference Center.
1- CUBA ASSUMES PRESIDENCY PRO TEMPORE
Cuba will hold the ECLAC presidency pro tempore for a term of two years. In the 36th Session, held May 23 through 27, 2016, in Mexico City, the island was elected unanimously to take the reins of the regional body.
2- IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2030 AGENDA
Analyzing the development strategies of member states to meet the commitments of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals will also be one of the points of debate.
3- EQUALITY IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Latin America and the Caribbean continues to be one of the most unequal areas on the planet, so this issue is key. In February, ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena noted that the meeting will discuss the idea and need for equality in Latin America and the Caribbean, in line with what was worked on in its four previous sessions held in 2010 in Brasilia; in 2012 in San Salvador; in 2014 in Lima and in 2016 in Mexico City.
4- SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION
One of the themes proposed by Cuba as host state is South-South cooperation. The UN system on the island will offer a presentation on the opportunities and lessons learned from Cuban experiences.
A recent UNESCO report described Cuba as the most outstanding country in Latin America and the Caribbean, by a wide margin, in terms of its contributions to South-South technical cooperation with other developing nations.
5- FOREIGN INVESTMENT
The ECLAC Session will also see a seminar on foreign investment, business opportunities and sustainable development for Cuba, where representatives of the 46 ECLAC member countries and 13 associate members will be able to discover more about the island’s legislation in this regard.