Alicia Barcena, the executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), has called for a change in the "narrative" used to discuss the development of the Caribbean and Latin American development.
She called on participants at the high-level meeting in Panama City, organized by the European Union (EU), to “rethinking development and generating a new consensus, based on greater regional integration, international cooperation that effectively supports the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in their transition to development, and investments and industrial policies that favor the environmental push toward more sustainable growth for equality.”
Her remarks came as the Caribbean continues to deal with the aftermath of the 2017 hurricane season, which caused billions of dollars in damage and loss of revenue.
Speaking at the panel titled, Opportunities or cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean in the context of the EU Consensus, Barcena stated that “the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a paradigm shift; it is a civilizing agenda that requires better international and regional governance.”
She also underscored that “in light of the deep tectonic shifts currently defining globalization — the technological revolution, the future of work in view of robotics, climate change, geopolitical changes, the crisis of mega-agreements, migration and the aging population — it is urgent that we seek new patterns of production and consumption.”
Speaking about the Caribbean, the high-ranking official noted that “in the case of small island developing states (SIDS), especially in the Caribbean, the size and isolation of their economies are a significant restriction to the mobilization of national resources, in addition to their vulnerability to the effects of climate change and debt accumulation.”