Participants at the VIII Ministerial Forum for Development in LAC adopted a ‘Statement of Santo Domingo,' which aims to put people "at the center of public policy.” This year’s Ministerial Forum coincided with ECLAC’s first meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In the Statement, governments commit to, inter alia: finding the most efficient and sustainable ways to promote the advancement of the 2030 Agenda in accordance with national priorities; developing measurements for well being and multidimensional progress that go beyond income; and boosting inclusive and comprehensive policies for populations that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
1 November 2016: Ministers and other authorities from 33 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries discussed strategies for a “sustainable exit from poverty,” along with progress on social policy and key challenges for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, during the VIII Ministerial Forum for Development in LAC. The meeting resulted in the ‘Statement of Santo Domingo.’
The Ministerial Forum convened from 31 October-1 November 2016, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In her address to the Forum, Dominican Republic Vice-President Margarita Cedeño emphasized four critical issues for the region: multidimensional progress; sustainable strategies to lift countries out of poverty; the social inequality matrix; and the definition of social policies to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She stressed the importance of economic development as a “tool for equality,” calling income redistribution “the most important task” for realizing the Agenda 2030.
UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark noted progress in the fields of gender equality, employment and environmental sustainability, but lamented that low economic growth threatens such progress. She said rethinking the region’s progress along a “multidimensional and holistic perspective” will prevent millions from falling back into poverty, and she called for public policies that strengthen social protection, care systems, physical and financial assets, and labor skills.
The ‘Statement of Santo Domingo’ aims to put people “at the center of public policy.” In the Statement, governments commit to: finding the most efficient and sustainable ways to promote the advancement of the 2030 Agenda in accordance with national priorities; developing measurements for well being and multidimensional progress that go beyond income; boosting inclusive and comprehensive policies for populations that have suffered discrimination and exclusion; implementing instruments that measure poverty in a multidimensional manner; improving social protection within the framework of fiscal responsibility; implementing social protection systems that address women, and indigenous and black populations, as well as the entire life cycle of citizens; and creating a “one-stop shop” for social programmes to improve efficiency, increase coverage and improve responsiveness to crises.
The Ministerial Forum is an annual meeting organized by UNDP with support from the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The first Forum took place in 2007.
This year’s Ministerial Forum coincided with ECLAC’s first meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which met on 1 November 2016, and was co-organized by the UNDP Regional Office for Latin America, the Vice-Presidency of the Dominican Republic and UNDP. The Presiding Officers Meeting included the launch of the ‘Social Inequality Matrix in Latin America,’ which illustrates how gender, ethnicity, race, age and territory influence the depth of equality gaps, their persistence over time and their reproduction. The study stresses that these dimensions must be considered if countries are to achieve sustainable development.
The document recommends,: building linkages between economic, production, labor, social and environmental policies; applying a rights-based approach to combating inequality; and ensuring social spending and tax revenues are allocated to social development. [Forum Website] [UNDP Press Release, 1 November] [UNDP Press Release, 31 October] [ECLAC Press Release] [Statement of Santo Domingo] [The Social Inequality Matrix in Latin America] [Website for First Meeting of Presiding Officers of Regional Conference on Social Development in LAC]