United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

Q1. How have the COVID-19 pandemic and the current food, energy and financing crises changed the priorities of your organization? 

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has been the developing region most hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has magnified the structural gaps of our region – namely, inequality, informality, low productivity and limited fiscal space -, and it could set the region back more than a decade in development progress particularly for women. In addition, the war in Ukraine is quickening inflation, reducing growth and increasing poverty in the region - domestic contexts are marked by a sharp economic slowdown, rising inflation and a slow and incomplete recovery of labor markets. As a result, 7.8 million people are forecast to join the 86.4 million others whose food security is already at risk. Higher commodity prices, the increase in transportation costs and disruptions to international supply chains will affect the region’s goods exports. Taking the current scenario into account, ECLAC has continued to provide a rapid response and adapting its work programme priorities to respond to the demands from member States of Latin America and the Caribbean to receive from the Commission: i) a comprehensive assessment of the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic and the current food, energy and finance crises; ii) constantly updated analysis, data and recommendations in terms of policy response to the pandemic and the multiple crisis readily available in a user-friendly online format; iii) policy dialogues to strengthen the regional space for exchange of practices among high-level and technical officials; while maintaining the 2030 Agenda and the SGDs as the blue print for development. To respond to the current food, energy and finance crises and stimulate sustainable and inclusive growth, ECLAC proposed continuing to use fiscal policy as a central component of development policy, by reducing evasion, reorienting tax expenditures and bolstering the progressivity of the tax structure. To contain inflationary pressures, monetary policy must utilize the broadest possible spectrum of available tools, combining the use of the monetary policy rate with macroprudential and foreign exchange instruments, with the aim of tackling inflation while minimizing the negative effects on growth and investment. Food security is a priority for ECLAC and hence the Commission advocates for considering measures such as maintaining or increasing food subsidies, implementing agreements with producers and marketing chains to contain prices of items in the basic food basket, and reducing or eliminating tariffs on imports of grains and other basic products. In the medium term, agricultural and industrial policies are needed to strengthen support for agricultural production while also increasing efficiency in the use of fertilizers, prioritizing biofertilizers. Industrial policy is key to reducing dependence on fertilizer imports in the medium term. Meanwhile, regarding energy security, ECLAC supports progress on renewable sources and regional energy integration. In the current context, fuel price stabilization mechanisms are needed along with targeted and temporary subsidies for the most vulnerable population groups and the productive sectors geared towards the domestic market. ECLAC also continues reflecting on regional strategies for emerging from the multiple crises, in the quest for transformative consensuses for designing public policy and in the timely implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as confirmed in its thirty-ninth session held in October 2022 in Argentina. ECLAC’s programme of work for 2024 is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and geared towards a transformative recovery in order to leave no one behind Along this line of thinking, ECLAC has proposed to the region a series of driving sectors that can energize the productive and structural transformation, as well as investment and job creation. These are: energy (energy transition), electromobility, the circular economy, the bioeconomy, the health-care manufacturing industry, the digital transformation, the care economy, sustainable tourism, and Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and the social and solidarity economy. This work is complemented by ECLAC´s continued and strengthened advocacy on the structural challenges the region faces, raising them at the highest political level, including the particularities and needs of Middle-Income Countries, Small Island Developing States and Caribbean countries, which have been evidenced and become even more relevant in the COVID-19 context and post-recovery. This work is expected to translate into concrete results through ECLAC´s work on financing for development, including by putting forward policy options for sustaining liquidity and avoid solvency problems, addressing debt restructuring and relief, devising innovating mechanisms and medium-term options for building back better with equality and sustainability.

Q2. How has your organization supported Member States to accelerate their recovery from COVID-19 and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda? How has your organization cooperated with other UN system organizations in these efforts to achieve coherence and synergies?

ECLAC’s relevant high-impact initiatives have addressed the intersection of the development challenges accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic with longstanding structural challenges of the LAC region, including productive diversification, cooperation needs of middle-income countries and the structural drivers of migration.

Please highlight up to three high-impact initiatives, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs and involves interagency collaboration. Concrete initiatives might be selected to be spotlighted during relevant intergovernmental meetings.

Initiative Plan for Self-Sufficiency in Health Matters
Partners Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC); Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Coalition for Innovations in Preparedness for Pandemics (CEPI); Mercosur
Relevant SDGs SDGs 3, 5, 8, 9, 10
Member States benefiting from the initiative The Member States of Latin America and the Caribbean
Description Plan for Self-Sufficiency on Health Matters seeks to boost vaccine and pharmaceutical production and distribution in the LAC region and build regional platforms on regulation, clinical trials and public procurement to reduce the current high-levels of extra-regional export dependence and not promote productive change.
Website https://www.cepal.org/en/pressreleases/countries-latin-america-and-cari…
https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/47253-plan-self-sufficiency-healt…
https://www.cepal.org/en/news/authorities-and-experts-highlight-importa…

 

Initiative Development in Transition
Partners OECD Development Centre, European Commission, ECLAC’s Member States in the Frame of Regional Conference on South-South Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 8, 9, 10, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative The Member States of Latin America and the Caribbean
Description ECLAC and its partners have been promoting the Development in Transition paradigm to rethink the international development cooperation modalities with the region’s predominantly middle-income countries who for the most part are not eligible for concessional financing and ODA. This initiative has gained increased relevance with the pandemic’s devastating impacts in the region, including increased fiscal pressure and rising indebtedness that limits policy space to undertake pandemic response and recovery policies. In addition to promoting an innovative financing for development agenda for LAC, ECLAC has been working closely with its member states to analyze the impacts of graduation from ODA eligibility, counter that the sole criterion remain GDP/per capita and explore alternative cooperation mechanisms for green and inclusive productive change for the recovery.
Website https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/47167-development-transition-conc…
https://www.oecd.org/dev/development-transition-dialogues-to-chart-path…

 

Initiative Comprehensive Development Plan for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and South-Southeast Mexico
Partners Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, regional offices of 20 UN Agencies Funds and Programmes, Resident Coordinators
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico
Description The Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and south and southeast Mexico involves 20 UN agencies, funds and programs operating in LAC and seeks to change the narrative around migration by linking it to the theme of sustainable development and peace, placing the dignity of migrants and human rights at the center with a human security approach and adopting a focus on the full migratory cycle: origin, transit, destination and return. In April 2021 The Executive Committee approved the Comprehensive Development Plan for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico as a UN System-wide cooperation platform to address the structural causes of migration and forced displacement with a medium-term vision and strategy.
Website https://www.cepal.org/en/news/eclac-officially-present-comprehensive-de…

 

Q3. Has your organization published or is it planning to publish any analytical work or guidance note or toolkits to guide and support recovery efforts from COVID-19 while advancing full implementation of SDGs at national, regional and global levels? 

ECLAC has been supporting Member States with analytical products, proposing policies both for the emergency response during the pandemic but also identifying opportunities in specific sectors to shape sustainable recovery policies. ECLAC has also closely analyzed the financing for development and international cooperation modalities that are required to facilitate a green and sustainable recovery in the LAC region.

Please select up to three high-impact resources to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. Selected resources will be highlighted to inform relevant intergovernmental meetings.

Resource Towards transformation of the development model in Latin America and the Caribbean: production, inclusion and sustainability
Publishing entity/entities ECLAC
Relevant SDGs All 17 SDGs
Target audience Governments, policy makers, academia, civil society and private sector in LAC
Description In a regional and international context of weak growth, high inflation and growing inequality, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean must focus policies on reactivating, rebuilding and transforming economic and production systems to advance towards low-carbon and high-tech economies that address climate change and reduce their historical gaps, structural heterogeneity and dualism. This document considers the complex conditions that pose significant challenges to accelerating growth, tackling high inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, maintaining transfers to the most vulnerable households, mitigating the social costs of the crisis and boosting investment. Its chapters analyse the dynamics of globalization and the policy challenges in changing the production structure and moving towards sustainable development. In addition, they consider strategies for reducing inequality and creating universal protection systems and decent jobs in a challenging world. Nine strategic sectors expected to drive a big push for sustainability are examined through the prism of green growth. The document concludes with policy recommendations for advancing towards a renewed model for inclusive and sustainable growth.
Website https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/48305-towards-transformation-deve…
Language English, Spanish

 

Resource A decade of action for a change of era. Fifth report on regional progress and challenges in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean
Publishing entity/entities ECLAC
Relevant SDGs All SDGs, especially 4, 5, 14, 15 and 17
Target audience Governments, policy makers, academia, development banks
Description The publication is part of ECLAC’s COVID-19 Special Report Series and addresses the financing for development challenges of the region, which limit policy space for sustainable recovery policies in the LAC region. The document analyzes instruments that would enable the financing green transition and social inclusion policies and promote climate resilience, with a special focus on Caribbean SIDS.
Website https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/47746-decade-action-change-era-fi…
Language English, Spanish

 

Resource Latin American Economic Outlook 2022: Towards a Green and Just Transition
Publishing entity/entities The Development Centre of the OECD, ECLAC, CAF and the European Commission
Relevant SDGs SDGs 1, 7, 8, 10, 13, 17
Target audience Governments, policy makers
Description What challenges and opportunities does the green transition entail for Latin America and the Caribbean? This 15th edition of the Latin American Economic Outlook explores options for the region to recast its production models, transform its energy matrix and create better jobs in the process. It argues that, for this transition to be just, stronger social protection systems and open dialogue must help build new, sustainable social contracts. In support of this ambitious agenda, the report presents an array of financing options, including green finance, and advocates for renewed international partnerships.
Website https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/48415-latin-american-economic-out…
Language English, Spanish

 

Q4. How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups to support SDG implementation and COVID-19 recovery at national, regional and global levels? Please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. For example, what has worked particularly well as a model for effective stakeholder engagement? 

ECLAC has engaged with diverse stakeholder groups to support SDG implementation and COVID-19 recovery at national, regional and global levels.

If your organization has established multi-stakeholder partnership(s) in this regard, please describe them (name, partners involved, relevant SDGs, Member States benefiting from the partnership) and provide links to relevant websites for more information.

Partnership Mercosur Business Forum – Productive Integration of the Pharmaceutical Sector
Partners Mercosur
Relevant SDGs SDGs 3, 5, 8, 9, 10
Member States benefiting from the initiative Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay
Description ECLAC supported the pro-tempore presidency of MERCOSUR, with the organization of the Seventh MERCOSUR Business Forum, which was held via virtual, thematic sessions between October 15 and November 5, 2021, with a focus on the productive integration of the pharmaceutical sector. The Forum’s objective was to create a discussion space between private and public sector stakeholders to map the situation of the pharmaceutical sector in MERCOSUR states and analyze the main challenges for building subregional sectoral linkages. Discussions addressed trade, investment, regulation, research & development and innovation and increased State engagement to promote these objectives.
Website https://www.mercosur.int/ciudadanos/foro-empresarial-del-mercosur/

 

Partnership SDG Business Forum in LAC
Partners United Nations Global Compact
Relevant SDGs SDGs 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative The 33 Member States of ECLAC
Description Since the first meeting of Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, held in 2017, ECLAC and the United Nations Global Compact have organized an annual SDG Business Forum, which aims to analyse and promote the role of the private sector and public-private collaboration in implementing the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs. The 2022 edition of the SDG Business Forum has been organized in collaboration with the Government of Costa Rica, in its capacity as Chair of the Commission and host country of the fifth meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, and in partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have highlighted the importance of multi- stakeholder cooperation in the response to the emergency and in the push for a sustainable recovery. Against this backdrop, the event generated a dialogue between different public and private sector actors on fostering innovation and technological development capacities to increase public health resilience and to drive forward the inclusive and sustainable recovery of the region in the long term.
Website https://foroalc2030.cepal.org/2022/en/programme/sdg-business-forum-lati…

 

Partnership Mechanisms for the participation of civil society in the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development
Partners Civil society organizations of LAC
Relevant SDGs All SDGs, especially SDG 17
Member States benefiting from the initiative The 33 Member States of ECLAC
Description The meeting of civil society was held in the framework of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development generates a space for dialogue for civil society organizations in the Region on the implementation, monitoring and regional review of the 2030 Agenda, including in the context of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Website https://foroalc2030.cepal.org/2022/en/programme/meeting-civil-society-l…

For information about other partnerships, please visit https://www.cepal.org/en/escazuagreement

 

Q5. In the 2019 SDG Summit declaration (GA Resolution 74/4), Member States outlined ten priority areas for accelerated action in SDG implementation. Please highlight any major integrated and innovative policies or initiatives that your organization may have adopted in these ten priority areas:

5.1 leaving no one behind

1. ECLAC’s policy proposals on pandemic response and recovery, including emergency basic income, basic digital basket, hunger grant For further details: https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/47059-recovery-paradox-latin-amer…
2. ECLAC’s care society proposal and advances in measuring the unpaid domestic and care work of women. For further details: https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/47266-towards-care-society-contri…
3. ECLAC’s programme of work for 2024 is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and geared towards a transformative recovery in order to leave no one behind: https://periododesesiones.cepal.org/39/en/documents/towards-transformation-development-model-latin-america-and-caribbean-production-inclusion

5.2 mobilizing adequate and well-directed financing

An innovative financing for development agenda for the recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean and its 5 key proposals https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/47490-innovative-financing-develo…
(1) expand and redistribute liquidity from developed to developing countries, including through recycling SDRs through a middle-income country trust fund and regional development banks or financial institutions;
(2) strengthen regional cooperation by enhancing the lending and response capacity of regional, subregional and national financial institutions, and strengthening linkages between them;
(3) carry out institutional reform of the multilateral debt architecture;
(4) expand the set of innovative instruments aimed at increasing debt repayment capacity and avoiding excessive indebtedness, including through instruments focused on Small Island Developing States and
(5) integrate liquidity and debt reduction measures into a development financing strategy aimed at building forward better, with equality and environmental sustainability at the center of the recovery (please see the publication above for reference).

5.3 enhancing national implementation

ECLAC supports its Member States in multiple ways to enhance national implementation of the SDGs in the region:

  • ECLAC’s Community of Practice for Voluntary National Review (VNR) countries hosts monthly meetings both in English and Spanish since December 2019 and offers an informal space for exchange among peers and sharing of good practices with regards to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in general and on the preparation of VNRs in particular. Topics of discussions include the localization of the 2030 Agenda, stakeholder engagement, planning and budgeting, financing for development, data and statistics, and many more. For more information, please see the dedicated website: https://www.cepal.org/en/topics/2030-agenda-sustainable-development/ecl…
  • Every year, ECLAC organizes regional workshops for Latin American and Caribbean countries presenting their VNRs at the HLPF in New York. The goal of these technical workshops is to strengthen the knowledge and capacities of countries in the formulation of their VNRs as part of their national strategy to implement and monitor the 2030 Agenda. In the framework of the sixth meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development to take place from 24 to 28 April 2023 at ECLAC Headquarters in Santiago de Chile, ECLAC will organize another regional workshop for Latin American and Caribbean countries presenting their VNRs in 2023, namely Barbados, Chile, Guyana, St. Kitts and Navis and Venezuela.
  • ECLAC provides targeted support and technical assistance to Member States upon request in the process of drafting the VNR reports.

5.4 strengthening institutions for more integrated solutions

ECLAC plays a crucial role by channeling the national interests of their Member States to the global level and provide clear policy guidance and support to accelerate action for the SDGs across different policy areas at local, national and regional levels to foster more integrated solutions:

  • ECLAC supports countries by establishing links between the national and the subnational governance levels, generating guides and tools to strengthen the localization of the 2030 Agenda, and offering capacity-building to local authorities with the aim to strengthen institutions for more integrated solutions.
  • ECLAC convenes regular 2030 Agenda Focal Points meetings to take stock on how the different UN systems entities are working towards the implementation of the SDGs with the aim coordinate a more integrated response and accelerate action for the SDGs via a well-aligned whole-of-system approach.
  • The SDG Gateway, the Regional Knowledge Platform on the 2030 Agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean, is an online portal developed by ECLAC together with United Nations system in the region, where all information related to the SDGs can be found, including activities, information resources, statistics, regional data, specific analytical tools and knowledge products. The Gateway is a systemwide effort to gain coherence and better integration regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the acceleration of action for the SDGs. For more information, please see the dedicated website: https://agenda2030lac.org

5.5 bolstering local action

ECLAC supports Latin American and Caribbean countries in various ways to bolster local action:

  • ECLAC’s above mentioned Community of Practice for VNR countries encompasses discussions to bolster local action and ensure the localization of the 2030 Agenda.
  • The annual Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development is a multi-stakeholder platform for debate, peer learning and multisectoral, multi-level analysis that enables to discuss priority topics for sustainable development in the region, including a specific panel and side-event on the localization of SDGs.
  • ECLAC supports countries by establishing links between the national and the subnational governance levels, generating guides and tools to strengthen the localization of the 2030 Agenda, and offering capacity-building to local authorities.
  • ECLAC is collaborating with the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs on a variety of fronts to foster the localization of the 2030 Agenda and the development of Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) in the region, such as a trinational program in the Chaco region of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.
  • The previously mentioned SDG Gateway includes relevant information on SDG implementation at the local level and has a dedicated section on local governments: https://agenda2030lac.org/en/local-governments
  • The Regional Observatory for Development Planning of the Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES) of ECLAC has identified seven modalities that have been carried out to localize the SDGs in the countries of the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, which include (1) documents with general guidelines, (2) institutionality for the incorporation, monitoring and complicate of the 2030 Agenda at the subnational levels, (3) socialization, training or collective dialogue with different actors, (4) diagnosis and monitoring, (5) instruments or tools for the incorporation of the 2030 Agenda in local plans, (6) initiatives promoted by civil society, private sector and other actors, and (7) mechanisms for the visibilization of good practices. For more information, please visit this website.

5.6 reducing disaster risk and building resilience

ECLAC’s Damage and Loss Assessment (DALA) methodology to assess the economic impacts of disasters. Recent examples of DALA evaluations carried out at the request of Member States include Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Central America in 2020 and the flooding in Guyana in 2021. ECLAC also carries out relevant capacity building with Member States.

5.7 solving challenges through international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership

The Development in Transition paradigm proposals and Financing for Development proposals on global liquidity redistribution and the reform of the global debt architecture, as previously detailed.

5.8 harnessing science, technology and innovation with a greater focus on digital transformation for sustainable development

• Representatives of government, the private sector, the technical community and civil society will participate on November 16-18, 2022 in the Eighth Ministerial Conference on the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean, which will take place in Montevideo, Uruguay, organized by ECLAC in conjunction with the Government of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay. The Conference aims to define a set of policy priorities at the regional level to drive digital transformation with a vision of sustainable development, in the framework of the Digital Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean (eLAC 2024). The meeting’s panels will address issues such as investment, infrastructure and connectivity; governance and regulation and a regional digital market; innovation, entrepreneurship and digital transformation; digitalization for greater inclusion; competences and skills for societies in transformation; cybersecurity and critical assets; digital trade and SMEs; green transition in a digital world; smart cities; digital government and citizen participation; and cooperation and strategic alliances for a new digitalization, among other topics: https://conferenciaelac.cepal.org/8/en and https://conferenciaelac.cepal.org/8/en/documents/digital-path-sustainable-development-latin-america-and-caribbean

• ECLAC’s Acting Executive Secretary presented the main challenges and opportunities for mobilizing STI and strengthening the science-policy-society interface in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean in the 2022 HLPF’s plenary session entitled “Mobilizing and sharing science, technology and innovation for an SDG driven recovery”: https://www.cepal.org/en/news/effective-cooperation-science-technology-…

• ECLAC and the Government of Argentina have organized the third Meeting of the Conference on Science, Innovation and Information and Communications Technologies under a hybrid format from 13-15 of December 2021. The event highlighted that science, technology and innovation (STI) are crucial not only for facing the COVID-19 pandemic, but also for moving towards a transformative recovery with equality and sustainability in the region.

• The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) has approved the Plan for Self-Sufficiency in Health Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean prepared by ECLAC at the request of the Government of Mexico. The Plan is a strategic document setting out lines of action to strengthen capacities to produce and distribute vaccines and medicines in the region and advocates for greater regional integration, cooperation, and solidarity.

• ECLAC’s has published a position document entitled: Innovation for development: The key to a transformative recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean, which indicates that the STI systems of Latin American and Caribbean countries are underfunded and concentrated in basic and applied research activities, with major gaps on matters of experimental development, and that post-pandemic recovery plans represent an opportunity to reorient STI strategies so they are at the service of sustainable development and to redesign international cooperation in this area. The report also stresses the importance of the health-care manufacturing industry, of digital technologies for industry and of environmental efficiency for promoting a structural change based on knowledge creation in the region.

• The COVID-19 crisis has reaffirmed the importance of harnessing technological advances and exposing territorial inequalities to promote decent jobs in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. This was underlined at an international seminar organized by ECLAC from 6-7 October 2021. The event presented the key findings of the project “Transforming technology in Latin America: Promoting productive jobs and confronting the challenge of new forms of informal employment”, financed by the United Nations Development Account and carried out since 2018 by ECLAC’s Economic and Social Development Divisions and its Buenos Aires Office.

5.9 investing in data and statistics for the SDGs

1. Updated CEPALSTAT Platform, the main portal for statistical information on the LAC region: https://statistics.cepal.org/portal/cepalstat/index.html?lang=es

2. SDG Gateway: https://agenda2030lac.org/en

3. Promoting innovative data production in the framework of the Statistical Conference of the America’s including on measuring the care economy and national account systems for ecosystem services and natural capital

5.10 strengthening the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)

• ECLAC has provided policy recommendations to UN DESA on how to strengthen the HLPF and started to put these into practice at the regional level, including the following:

• To make the HLPF more policy-oriented, it should go beyond review and create a space for more in-depth policy discussions. The number of VNR countries presenting their VNRs at the HLPF every year could be reduced, or the time dedicated to the VNR presentations (3 days for around 40-45 presentations) could be extended to allow a more profound discussion between countries.

• VNRs should portray a realistic picture of a country’s complex reality, while the interactive discussion following each VNR presentation should be an honest exchange between countries in a space of peer-review and learning from each other, which also entails how particular SDG challenges have been overcome. ECLAC’s Community of Practice for VNR countries offers a monthly space for this honest and open exchange and peer-learning.

• More space should be given to the meaningful engagement of non-state actors, including civil society, academia, and the private sector, at the HLPF, including in the interactive discussions following the VNR presentations. ECLAC has been consulting with different civil society organizations (CSOs) from the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, for example in the context of the Regional Workshop of the GSDR 2023 in Lima, Peru in November 2022, to foster a more meaningful engagement of non-state actors in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in general and the VNR process in particular.

• The VNR process is much more than a report itself presented at the HLPF. The UN system could provide a more comprehensive framework of guidelines and tools to direct countries even beyond the actual VNR process itself. ECLAC’s support of the VNR process does not stop at the HLPF but accompanies countries from the region within the entire cycle of implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

• Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) gained a lot of momentum in recent years and ECLAC recommends to further elaborate how these complementing reviews at the local or subnational level could be better connected to the VNRs and integrated in a more formalized way into the HLPF. They could also be included in a dedicated section of the official DESA VNR database: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/vnrs ECLAC has integrated local efforts by countries in the SDG Gateway, has reviewed best practices and lessons learned of localizing the 2030 Agenda in the region and is collaborating with DESA on this end ECLAC is planning to conduct a regional guide to the development of VLRs in the near future.

 

Q6. Following the adoption of the 2022 Ministerial Declaration, please highlight any major integrated and innovative policies or initiatives that your organization may have adopted related to the below, if applicable:

6.1 Member States encouraged "the United Nations system and all relevant actors to take advantage of emerging technologies and their applications, as appropriate, in order to maximize impact and effectiveness in data analysis and collection and stress the need to bridge the digital gap among and within countries" (Paragraph 86)

• The 21st meeting of the Executive Committee of the Statistical Conference of the Americas (SCA) of ECLAC in August 2022 called for continuing to implement the 2020 round of population and housing censuses, taking into account the lessons learned from recent experiences as well as relevant international recommendations and standards to support the production of indicators and statistics that are essential for decision-making. Furthermore, it stressed the urgency of identifying complementary indicators to GDP for measuring development on issues such as gender gaps and different manifestations of inequalities, unpaid work and the relationship with the environment and its ecosystems, among others. It also welcomed progress on the development of an information system for the continuous update of the inventory of national capacities to produce the indicators of the SDGs. The Executive Committee of the SCA expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the Working Groups to mainstream the gender perspective into their work, seeking to contribute to gender equality, the elimination of stereotypes and policymaking by integrating this perspective in the production, analysis and use of statistical information: https://www.cepal.org/en/events/twenty-first-meeting-executive-committe…

• Household surveys are widely used as a tool for obtaining information on people's socio-economic status and well-being. However, the accuracy of household survey estimates decreases significantly when it comes to making inferences for population groups who represent disaggregations for which the survey was not designed. It is possible, in this context, to use estimation processes that combine information from household surveys with existing auxiliary information at population level, such as censuses or administrative records. ECLAC has published a paper on “Disaggregating data in household surveys: Using small area estimation methodologies” as a methodological guide to the combination of survey statistical techniques with probabilistic models in order to produce disaggregations for interest groups, known as small area estimation (SAE) techniques: https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/48107-disaggregating-data-househo…

• The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the value of timely production and dissemination of data for decision-making. In the Caribbean, at the national and subregional levels, COVID-19 has not only been a public health matter but has also become a socioeconomic issue with many ramifications for how societies operate. As governments tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic and its aftermath, statistics have been one of the essential tools employed by governments to educate citizens about the risks posed by the pandemic and the severe consequences of contracting the COVID-19 disease. In this context, ECLAC has published a policy brief in September 2022 on “Policy imperatives for the timely production and dissemination of quality and relevant statistics in the Caribbean”: https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/48143-policy-imperatives-timely-p…

6.2 Member States specifically called upon the UN system "to work with the newly established United Nations Food Systems Coordination Hub, hosted by FAO, to support Governments to develop and strengthen SDG-based national pathways for sustainable food systems transformation" (Paragraph 128)

• ECLAC has been coordinating the elaboration of a forthcoming (6 December 2022) publication with FAO and WFP to support regional coordination on food security. It is a policy brief with concrete proposals to reinforce and update the Regional Plan for Food Security, Nutrition and the Eradication of Hunger by 2025. Other proposals on food security also relate to access to fertilizers. The region imports almost 85% of fertilizers used, therefore is the most import dependent region of the world in terms of fertilizers and particularly vulnerable to supply chain disruptions. In this sense, ECLAC stands ready to continue fostering regional cooperation to improve access and promote efficiency in the use of fertilizers and biofertilizers to strengthen the region’s food systems, fight hunger and reduce environmental footprints.

• Transforming food systems: Regional policy brief: https://www.cepal.org/en/publications/47254-transforming-food-systems-r… The ‎UN World Food Systems Summit (FSS) 2021 marked a ‎‎‎‎milestone to promote actions that aim at overcoming challenges and delivering healthier, more ‎‎‎‎sustainable, and inclusive food systems and to deliver progress globally across all 17 SDGs. In that respect this report was prepared to provide harmonized pathways and game changers to overcome common and regional challenges that limit the transformation of the food system into an inclusive, healthy, sustainable, and resilient systems. The proposed game changers when implemented by a variety of actors in the food system would potentially reverse the current performance of food systems, improve outcomes, and support the achievement of the associated SDGs. Regional priorities for food systems transformation are also highlighted for each of the five different regions and were based on discussions held in regional processes and consultations, including the 2021 regional forums for sustainable development that followed up and reviewed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the transformation of regional food systems. These diverse and regional dialogues provided a platform for food system stakeholders and actors to identify these region-specific pathways and actions for equitable and sustainable food system transformation, and to raise awareness on food system action at the regional national and sectoral levels. Finally, a number of propositions are listed for translating global momentum into regional development in order to ensure radical changes in the way food is produced, processed and consumed, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic, and to achieve positive outcomes in relation to food security and nutrition.

• ECLAC participates in the UN Regional Task Force and its Technical Working Group, which have been created to contribute to the promotion of the post-Food Systems Summit agenda. The task force seeks to: i) Provide support tot he countries that participated in the Food Systems Summit towards the implementation of their Roadmaps; ii) Facilitate spaces for dialogue and activities at the regional level; and iii) Promote articulation with the Hub in Rome and with the coalitions to facilitate incidence in countries of the region. The Regional Task Force is integrated by WFP, FAO, IFAD, OPS, UNEP and ECLAC.

 

Q7. The 2023 SDG Summit is expected to provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development and follow-up and review progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, including through national and regional consultations, which will mark the beginning of a new phase of accelerated progress towards the SDGs. In the lead up to the 2023 SDG Summit, please provide your organization’s recommendations on how to overcome challenges to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs, taking into account the thematic reviews and voluntary national reviews conducted to date. 

The 2030 Agenda with its 17 SDGs is at a critical juncture in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. Only a third of SDG targets are on track to be achieved by 2030. The world and the region are in a state of multiple crisis, characterized by low growth, high levels of inequality, an environmental emergency, and an unprecedented health crisis. Recovering from the crisis and getting on track on the road to delivering on the SDGs by 2030 involves the participation of all stakeholders, including civil society, youth, the private sector, academia, local authorities, and parliaments. Only in strong collaboration with all stakeholders can we build back better or forward and ensure that the Decade of Action for the SDGs turns into a reality for everyone, everywhere, leaving no one behind. In this context, ECLAC has been encouraging multi-stakeholder dialogues and participation in the implementation and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda since its adaptation at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York in 2015 and continues providing a space for diverse actors to support this pathway.

The 2030 Agenda remains the blueprint to overcome the multiple crisis resulting from COVID-19. Among priority cross-cutting issues to address within the broader theme of supporting the pandemic recovery and the achievement of the SDGs are equal access to COVID-19 vaccines; innovative finance for development; people-centered, universal health and social protection systems; putting children, youth and women at the center of pandemic recovery efforts; disaggregated SDG data; green recovery; equal access to digitalization; and enhanced multilateralism, strategic leadership and solidarity.

The thematic review on SDG 17 is an opportunity to discuss the fundamental challenge of rising debt levels and financing for development gaps developing regions face in financing a sustainable recovery and the implementation of the SDGs. This is a crucial issue for LAC, which is the most indebted developing region with the highest debt servicing in relation to its exports, while as a country of predominantly middle-income countries it has very limited access to concessional financing sources. Moreover, the pandemic has also highlighted serious weaknesses in global cooperation, including for the needs of middle-income countries, which have been excluded from multilateral debt suspension initiatives. Enhanced multilateral cooperation with and innovative approaches to debt and financing for development, based on vulnerabilities, rather than GDP per capita levels are thus key issues for the UN system to address.

In LAC only 2.3% of recovery funds have been directed to green and low-carbon sectors. More policy coherence is needed among the economic and environmental pillars of sustainability. This also will have an impact on the implementation of SDGs 14 and SDG 15, which are of special relevance to regions, which possess a rich biodiversity, as is the case in LAC. The UN system’s engagement with emerging debates on the economics of biodiversity and the importance of nature-based solutions are essential for a green recovery. They also connect with the “Beyond GDP” discussions proposed by the SG’s Our Common Agenda and the current climate discussions taking place at COP 27 in Egypt. Last, but not least, the impacts of COVID-19 need to be looked at from a perspective of gender equality and education, including the interlinkages between these two dimensions (SDG 4 and SDG 5). The care economy should be positioned as a sector to fuel the recovery.

 

ECESA Plus Member
Year of submission: 2022