MIL OSI Translation. Region: Spanish / Latin America / UN –
Source: Republic of Colombia
During the thirty-eighth session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which takes place virtually from October 26 to 28, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Claudia Blum, made reference to the impacts caused by of the Covid-19 pandemic that have slowed the development of the countries of the region and that affect the most vulnerable communities most seriously.
The Chancellor pointed out that this meeting will provide a valuable exchange of experiences and reflections on innovative and viable paths to ensure a recovery that promotes economic reactivation, with a vision of equality and sustainability.
In this sense, he explained that the national government, in the framework of the pandemic, launched a plan in line with the objectives of sustainability and equity: “The axes of this strategy called Commitment to Colombia are: welfare for the poorest and most vulnerable; employment generation; clean growth; and rural development and peace with legality ”, he pointed out.
The Chancellor presented national actions related to social programs such as Familias en Acción, Jóvenes en Acción, Colombia Mayor and Ingreso Solidario. She also emphasized the importance of Digital Transformation, entrepreneurship programs with an emphasis on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and environmental initiatives that play a central role for the sustainability of the reactivation.
That is why Minister Blum called on the countries and social sectors of the region “to act committed and immediately to resume the path of sustainable development.”
The Minister was emphatic in ensuring that “The 2030 Agenda is reaffirmed as our collective roadmap to eliminate poverty, reduce inequalities, promote well-being and face the environmental crisis, leaving no one behind.”
Finally, he noted that “the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have lived through and overcome complex emergencies and challenges throughout history. The lessons learned as a region teach us that multilateralism and international cooperation are essential paths to achieve common goals. The purpose of reactivating our economies, with equality and sustainability, requires us a large-scale collective action, through political, economic, social and scientific cooperation between States, as well as public-private alliances. Only in this way will we regain the path to more prosperous, healthy, equitable and peaceful societies ”.
Statement by Foreign Minister Claudia Blum at the thirty-eighth session of ECLAC
Honorable Mrs. Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena;
Minister of Foreign Relations and Worship of Costa Rica, Rodolfo Solano;
Ladies and Gentlemen Chancellors;
Distinguished heads of delegation;
I want to thank ECLAC for making this meeting possible, and Costa Rica for organizing and leading this session.
The health, economic and social crisis caused by COVID-19 represents the greatest challenge for the world since World War II.
According to the International Monetary Fund, our region will have the largest economic contraction in the world. In Latin America and the Caribbean, ECLAC has projected a 9.1% drop in GDP for 2020. This year, the regional average GDP per capita will fall to the values of 2010, and poverty will rise to the level of 2006.
The impacts of the pandemic have slowed our development as countries, and most seriously affect the most vulnerable communities.
The theme that brings us together today allows a valuable exchange of experiences and a reflection on innovative and viable ways to ensure a recovery that promotes economic reactivation, with a vision of equality and sustainability.
In Colombia, the 2018-2022 National Development Plan set the construction of equity as a central objective. This Plan establishes a modern social policy to ensure that economic progress translates into real well-being and opportunities for all. The current crisis has confirmed to us the importance of this path that we have traced, in which we have made significant progress.
In the framework of the pandemic, the Government of President Iván Duque launched a reactivation plan in line with the objectives of sustainability and equity. The axes of this strategy called Compromiso por Colombia are: welfare for the poorest and most vulnerable, job creation, clean growth, rural development, and peace with legality.
In terms of supporting vulnerable households that saw their living income reduced, I want to share some initiatives with a social impact.
We strengthened the Familias en Acción program, which covers 2.6 million households that receive cash transfers conditional on education and health requirements for children.
Likewise, we expanded two programs: Jóvenes en Acción, which financially supports 290,000 students; and Colombia Mayor, which benefits 1.6 million retired adults who do not have a pension.
The Ingreso Solidario initiative was created to support 2.9 million low-income households with periodic transfers, NOT covered by the previous programs. This strategy will continue until June 2,021.
Direct support actions for unprotected sectors are essential in countries like ours, where we have great challenges in terms of poverty and economic informality.
In the reactivation of employment, investments in strategic projects have been approved. And we give priority to the entrepreneurship policy that emphasizes micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, which offer opportunities for formality and equity.
Likewise, during the health crisis, the transformation and digital connectivity in which we have advanced throughout the country became relevant. We reached 10 thousand rural centers with free internet 24 hours a day, which guarantees access to education through digital means even in periods of social distancing.
We also implement health care services by technological means. And the modalities of teleworking, digital commerce and virtual services have gained preponderance in the economy. It is essential to consolidate access to these technologies for all sectors, for reasons of equity, and because these advances strengthen productivity and competitiveness in the future.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The pandemic has shown us the close relationship between the health of ecosystems and human health. And the need to transform current production and consumption patterns for ones that are sustainable. For this reason, it is essential that our reactivation plans are aligned with environmental objectives.
In Colombia, we have prioritized 27 strategic renewable energy and transmission projects that promote sustainability, while generating 55,000 jobs.
Likewise, we adopt the National Circular Economy Strategy and lead the Regional Circular Economy Coalition of the United Nations Environment Program. We look forward to working with the entire region and with the private sector for the transformation towards an economy that uses energy and resources, including raw materials, products and waste in the best way, and thus avoid negative impacts on the environment.
We reaffirm our commitment to the Paris Agreement. Although the World Economic Forum estimates a 7% reduction in greenhouse emissions in 2020, these impacts are transitory. This year we will update Colombia’s Nationally Determined Contribution, and we are making progress in formulating the strategy to achieve carbon neutrality at 2,050.
On the other hand, we work without pause to promote negotiations on the new global framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which constitutes a unique opportunity for the region and for the planet.
In this pandemic, Colombia calls on the countries and social sectors of our region to act committed and immediately to resume the path of sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda is reaffirmed as our collective roadmap to eliminate poverty, reduce inequalities, promote well-being and confront the environmental crisis, leaving no one behind.
The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have lived through and overcome complex emergencies and challenges throughout history. The lessons learned as a region teach us that multilateralism and international cooperation are essential paths to achieve common goals.
The purpose of reactivating our economies, with equality and sustainability, requires us a large-scale collective action, through political, economic, social and scientific cooperation between States, as well as public-private alliances. Only in this way will we regain the path to more prosperous, healthy, equitable and peaceful societies.
Thank you very much
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.