Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Wednesday, 20 January 2021 - 10:19am




Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC

Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, UNDP

Javier May Rodriguez, Secretary of Welfare of Mexico and Chair of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Excellences, colleagues, ladies and gentleman,

Good afternoon.

I would like to begin by thanking Mr. Rodriguez for Mexico’s leadership over the course of their term as Chair. Mexico ably led the work of the Presiding Officers under the very difficult circumstances presented to us all by COVID-19.

The Draft Plan of Work of the Regional Agenda for Inclusive Social Development is a clear roadmap for the region to follow as we take steps toward realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.

In terms of the Thematic Working Groups under which the work contained in the Drat Plan will be taken forward, the addition of the Working Group “Leaving no one behind in the Caribbean,” is one that is important for the Caribbean region, given our unique social and historical challenges as Small Island Developing States. I hope its inclusion will be supported by all colleagues present.

I would like to encourage the active participation of the Associate Member Countries of ECLAC (AMCs) in the work of this Regional Conference. There is much that we can contribute and gain from our exchanges with our colleagues in the wider region. In this regard, Mr. Chairman, I recommend that at least one of the 14 Associate Member Countries sit on the ‘Leaving no one behind in the Caribbean” Thematic Working Group, which is appropriate since they are a part of the Caribbean subregion. I hope colleagues find this proposal reasonable.

I take this opportunity to also encourage the AMCs to participate in the upcoming Summit of the Associate Member Countries of ECLAC that will take place in March at the Fourth Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development. The summit will focus on addressing the AMCs’ gaps in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, which requires very specific attention given our various handicaps.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Antigua and Barbuda on their selection as host country of the next session of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

You have the full support of the British Virgin Islands.

I thank you.