SELA: 47 years working for the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean

October 17, 2022
author: WWW.SELA.ORG
SELA: 47 years working for the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean

The Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) celebrates its 47th anniversary with the renewal of its commitment to the integration of its 25 Member States, as a fundamental element for the development of the region. “In this post-pandemic scenario, the role of SELA is of vital importance to strengthen convergence among its members, allowing for progress in intra-regional cooperation to exchange best practices and move towards economic recovery and social development in the region,” the Permanent Secretary of SELA, Ambassador Clarems Endara, said. 

SELA was founded on 17 October 1976 with the purpose of strengthening intra-regional cooperation in order to accelerate the economic and social development of its members. It also aims to promote a system of consultation and coordination for the adoption of common positions and strategies on economic and social issues before countries, groups of countries, forums and international organisations, as set forth in the Panama Convention establishing SELA.

Throughout its 47 years, SELA has promoted cooperation in the region, becoming a benchmark for integration policies. In its multi-year Work Programme for 2022-2026, the organisation has managed to build a regional agenda for cooperation in three thematic areas: Economic Recovery, Digitalisation and Social Development, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. 

During the last year, SELA has made significant progress in the articulation of the Network of Digital and Collaborative Ports and in the mapping of productive niches in the Member States. A road map has also been established to address Disaster Risk Management through inter-institutional cooperation, and agreements have been signed with allied organizations to address the vulnerability of the food systems of the membership. The Public Policy Index for SMEs is currently under construction, and the first Diploma in Public Management of MSME Programmes with a Gender Approach is being offered.

Agreements have also been reached for academic exchanges with universities in the region, and virtual spaces are maintained for the construction of knowledge in areas of common interest, such as Circular Economy, Cyber-diplomacy, Digitalisation, Migration and other focal issues to overcome the existing gaps in Latin America and the Caribbean.

SELA is a permanent regional consultation mechanism, currently made up of 24 States: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In its 47 years of existence, SELA reiterates as an essential task to work for the integration of the region, through intra-regional cooperation, in order to make progress towards economic recovery and development of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.