SELA makes headway with a common regional agenda 2022

septiembre 30 to octubre02, 2021
SELA makes headway with a common regional agenda 2022

Determined to meet the urgent needs of the countries in the region, representatives of 18 Member States of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) gathered on 30 September at the headquarters in Caracas to work on the agenda 2022.

The meeting of the Informal Working Group of SELA was also the preliminary framework of the Latin American and Caribbean Council, slated for November 2021.

The Permanent Secretary of SELA, Ambassador Clarems Endara, remarked the commitment of the organization in response to the urgent needs in the region. Hence, the Member States of SELA have been inquired about the major action areas to be tacked in the new five-year regional agenda.

Following the methodology of probing, building, and proposing, three thematic areas have been identified as part of the draft agenda. An ad hoc working group, composed of representatives of Nicaragua, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Chile, chaired by Mexico, has been entrusted with the task of discussing the draft agenda and defining the proposals under the Work Programme 2022-2027.

“We have a major task. A great effort has been made to restate the work of SELA for 2022. Within this scheme we have undertaken a consultation process that could drive us to a cooperative construction with the countries,” Ambassador Endara said. The meeting counted on the participation, among others, of Mauricio Vizcaíno, the representative of Mexico, holding the chairmanship of the Latin American Council.

Ambassador Endara noted that the enquiry has been useful to outline major thematic areas, including economic recovery, digitalization, and the social and cooperation agenda. “This is the original proposal of major topics on which we will work. If we manage to regionalize this agenda, then the impact will be much wider,” the Ambassador said.

“We want to act as a region. We work on an agenda that helps us restructure the topics. The Secretariat has a big responsibility with the region in order to join efforts to materialize an agenda in furtherance of economic and social development of individual countries,” the Permanent Secretary of SELA underscored.

The Member States agreed to take steps for the establishment of a disaster prevention regional fund in tandem with CELAC.

The Ambassador of Bolivia at Venezuela, Sebastian Michel, insisted on the need of responsiveness in the event of emergency, encouraging Member States to address urgent tasks associated with the environment, the risk of disasters, and economic recovery.

For his part, Minister Counsellor and Chargé d’Affaires of Chile in Venezuela, Roberto Ruíz Piraces, highlighted the power of SELA as an organization able to unify the region around economic, technology and social issues.

He said that the agenda proposed at this second meeting of SELA should be effective and produce results in view of the priority needs in the region. “It is important for us to demonstrate that SELA is present and able to resolve urgent and future matters.”

For the Director-General of Planning, Ministry of Economic Development and Public Credits of Nicaragua, Juan Carlos Sánchez, the social agenda of SELA 2022 should boil down to priority areas.

To the mind of the Director for Regional Integration of Ecuador, Verónica Gómez, the agenda of SELA 2022 should prioritize regional challenges. “We must insist, there is no need for us to have a large number of activities we cannot complete, but we must focus on taking care of the urgencies experienced by the countries in the region,” she said.

Luis Vela, Integration Officer of Peru, and Carmen Ibarra, Director for Trade Integration of the Dominican Republic, gave their countries’ blessing to the renewed momentum of SELA. They also endorsed priority actions for concrete results under the agenda of SELA 2022.

The Director of Public Concertation and Integration Mechanisms of Venezuela, María Arelis Valero, expressed her country support to the objectives established in the draft agenda of SELA 2022, remarking the importance of an inclusive work reflecting the needs and interests of the countries in the region.