Permanent Secretary of SELA aware of the urgency of taking care of priorities in LAC

December 07, 2021
Permanent Secretary of SELA aware of the urgency of taking care of priorities in LAC

Last Tuesday, 30 November 2021, during the XLVII Meeting of the Latin American Council, Ambassador Clarems Endara, the Permanent Secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA), made an appeal to refine the integration policies of Latin America and the Caribbean. The senior officer noted that regional mechanisms have a golden opportunity, not only to repair the damages caused by the recession, but also to clear the way for a longstanding and sustainable recovery in the years ahead.

In his opening remarks at the event, Ambassador Endara conceded that SELA is cognizant of the urgency of coping with the present circumstances in the region. SELA “endorses the steps taken by the governments in the region to counter the onslaught of the crisis, but also we envisage a favourable, perhaps unique, timing conducive to joint work and key, systemic actions to reset strategies for the development of Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary thanked Member States for trusting in SELA and reasserted the commitment of the regional organization to recover the highest level of qualification and excellence at the service of Member States. “But, above all, our peoples are longing for increased attention from international bodies, which are just the extension of their highest interests, represented in the desires for more and better integration,” he added.

Ambassador Endara praised the interest and responsiveness to joint and sustainable work all these four months of his management, which produced a multiannual work programme that captures the concerns of the region and revolves around three thematic areas: economic recovery, digitalization and social development.

“With the blessing of this Latin American Council, we prepare to undertake a necessary process of changes concerning the reactivation of the organization, intent on overcoming rhetorical foundations, and instead, focusing our work on a technical, prospective, propositional line of action, framed by cooperation and complementarity with the institutions of the region and their government,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary recalled that big challenges require from States further cooperation, complementarity, and common strategies and stances, that is, more integration. “We know that Latin American and Caribbean countries have experienced since 2020 one of the worst economic, social and health crises ever, resulting in a structural stalemate with no clue of coming to an end or solution,” he reasoned.

Ambassador Endara noted at the XLVII Meeting of the Latin American Council that the line of action of SELA is the result of joint efforts with Member States to address specific concerns identified during a consultation. The need to strike a balance between the social and economic agendas resulted in the restatement of a work programme that covers three thematic areas: economic recovery, digitalization and social development. The four-year programme will rely on a yearly performance reporting of activities, mostly intended to address the demands of the region.

“Emphasis has been put on a thematic structure with a cross-cutting approach. For instance, the thematic area of economic recovery would contribute to the development of the productive sectors through concrete work strategies, linked to the technology progress granted by

digitalization, expanding the structural and institutional capabilities and encouraging the technology environment, stimulating in this way productivity and, hence, economic growth,” the Permanent Secretary spelled out.

Ambassador Endara pointed out that special care was taken of linking the work programme with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but also of showing a regional agenda with urgent topics.

The Permanent Secretary claimed to be keenly aware that SELA has been slow to respond timely and extensively to the demands of the region. He noted, however, that over the past few years, SELA has performed key functions for Member States, including the endeavours together with regional and international agencies, the successful execution of certain tasks and even the design and implementation of methodology tools.

“Undoubtedly, SELA, with an ample membership and a track record of 46 years, is a benchmark for regional integration and cooperation. After taking over and knowing first-hand its operation, I hail the commitment of all the officials of the Permanent Secretariat, as well as their allegiance to the institution. However, we need to revamp its organizational scheme to make it more efficient and productive.”

Key topics: consejos latinoamericanos