Cuba, ECLAC Discuss Preparations for Sustainable Development Forum

United Nations, Jul 18 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, presided today a working meeting of the member States of the Latin American and Caribbean Forum for Sustainable Development.

The permanent mission of Cuba to the UN hosted the meeting, which was also attended by the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America of the United Nations (ECLAC), Alicia Barcena, and ambassadors of the area.

By welcoming the participants, the Cuban Minister reiterated the interest of his country to continue promoting the work of ECLAC and its subsidiary entities, as well as to support the work of that Commission in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Meanwhile, Barcenas presented the results of the organization's session period and reviewed the new preparations for the ECLAC forum that examines the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Cuba currently holds the pro-tempore presidency of ECLAC in the period 2018-2020, from which it boosts regional cooperation and sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During the 36th session of ECLAC, held in Mexico from May 23 to 27, 2016, the member states approved a resolution through which the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development was created as a regional mechanism for monitoring and reviewing the implementation of these goals.

Subsequently, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations endorsed the creation of the forum.

The Third Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development will be held at the ECLAC headquarters in Santiago de Chile, from April 22 to 26, 2019.

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Raúl receives ECLAC Executive Secretary

On the afternoon of October 4, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, received Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), making a visit to the country.

In a cordial atmosphere, the two officials discussed the regional situation, in particular the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as the earthquakes which affected Mexico.

Bárcena conveyed her gratitude to the President for Cuba’s support in hosting the 56th Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, currently taking place in Havana.

Participating on the Cuban side during the encounter were Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, a Council of Ministers vice president and minister of Economy and Planning, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla.

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ECLAC Foresees Growth of 1.1% in Latin America, Caribbean

The Latin American and Caribbean region will register an economic expansion of only 1.1 percent in 2017, mainly due to a decline of prices of South America''s primary goods, the Latin America and the Caribbean Commission (ECLAC) has projected.

In its new report, the UN agency confirmed the trend for improvement, after two years with red numbers, but reduced the expectation of growth of the region's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 1.3 to 1.1 percentage points.

According to ECLAC, the GDP of the South American nations will show an average rise of 0.6 percent due to the deterioration of income from exports of commodities such as oil, minerals and food.

On average, Central America will achieve a GDP increase of 3.6 percent, taking into account domestic demand and favorable expectations in the United States, that region's main trading partner.

For the English-speaking and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, is estimated an average increase of 1.4 percentage points, the report says.

In ECLAC's view, investment needs to be encouraged, productivity increased through innovation and employment protected in order to ensure a better target for 2017.

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ECLAC: There Is “Definitely No Humanitarian” Crisis in Venezuela

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has dismissed claims circulated by the Venezuelan opposition and the international media that the country is facing a “humanitarian crisis”. 

In an exclusive interview with Sputnik News earlier this week, ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena stated that it was “necessary to make it clear” that the country is “definitely not” in the midst of a humanitarian emergency. 

“There is scarcity of certain products and political tension, but Venezuela still has many elements in order to be a vibrant country and thrive economically, and it is making efforts to diversify its production,” stated the ECLAC head. 

Bárcena also added that it was impossible “to obscure” how the national government had “lifted many people out of poverty,” while praising the current Maduro administration for taking new “interesting” measures aimed at directly “supporting the poorest families” in the country. 

In further comments to the news agency, the ECLAC Executive Secretary predicted that the Venezuelan economy would contract just 4% in 2017, as opposed to 8% this year, “due to the recovery of oil prices”.

Nonetheless, Bárcena recommended that the government take action on its currency exchange controls, which she described as “causing damage to the Venezuelan economy”. 

The country has been facing an economic war brought about by the private sector leading to scarcities of food and medical supplies. 

In recent months, the national political opposition has attempted to have the country categorised as facing a humanitarian crisis in its bid to unseat the elected national government.  

Source/Venezuelanalysis

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