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Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries convened for the "Conference on Sustainable Development in LAC: Follow-up to the development agenda beyond 2015 and Rio+20," from 7-9 March 2013, in Bogota, Colombia.

Participants discussed development goals, global and regional governance, the implications from a regional perspective of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), and the follow-up to the development agenda beyond 2015, with the aim of informing the ongoing global processes.

11 March 2013: Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries convened for the “Conference on Sustainable Development in LAC: Follow-up to the development agenda beyond 2015 and Rio+20,” from 7-9 March 2013, in Bogota, Colombia. Participants discussed development goals, global and regional governance, the implications from a regional perspective of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), and the follow-up to the development agenda beyond 2015, with the aim of informing ongoing global processes.

The meeting, organized by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Government of Colombia, was attended by over 250 participants, including ministers, delegates from countries in the region, members and representatives of the UN High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP), and members of the UN Secretariat, as well as representatives from international and regional organizations and civil society.

The discussions mainly addressed the post-2015 development agenda, with some ideas expressed regarding, inter alia: a paradigm shift with equality at the foundation, and a change toward more sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns; broader measures for assessing sustainable development, including those related to health, education, environment and well-being; and new ways of financing beyond traditional aid (ODA).

Regarding how to deal with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the post-2015 development agenda, participants expressed a spectrum of views on the issue, ranging from maintaining the MDGs as separate from any sustainable development goals (SDGs) that are developed, to fully integrating the MDGs into the SDGs. Some highlighted that the MDGs address pressing challenges, such as poverty eradication, which they cautioned could be lost in SDGs that address sustainability over the long term. Other participants tried to allay those concerns with assurances that the aims of the MDGs would be fully integrated, linked together and expanded upon in SDGs and in the post-2015 development agenda. The interlinkages and interdependency of the issues were illustrated in a presentation by Colombia, which many described as useful “food for thought.”

Participants also briefly discussed the initiative to establish a Principle 10 instrument in the region, in the context of the Declaration on the application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development adopted by some LAC countries in 2012. During the Bogota conference, additional countries expressed their intention to join the initiative.

The passing of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on 6 March occurred just prior to the conference, and provided what many called a unique “symbolic moment” and opportunity for the region to demonstrate unity and solidarity to honor Chavez’s ideals. With many calling the meeting a good first step in a longer process, Colombia proposed that such a meeting be held on an annual basis to further the aim of “regional integration.” [IISD RS Meeting Coverage] [ECLAC Website for Meeting]


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