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Experts Debate at ECLAC about the Need to Rethink Development in a World in Transition
Academics and international officials who are participating this Monday and Tuesday, August 27-28, in a seminar organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the European Union posed the need to rethink both the region’s structural challenges and international cooperation with the perspective of “development in transition.”
The event entitled “Substantive and analytical workshop: Rethinking development in a world in transition” was inaugurated today by Mario Cimoli, ECLAC’s Deputy Executive Secretary, and Stella Zervoudaki, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation in Chile.
“At ECLAC we are convinced that it is necessary to rethink development and cooperation for development,” said Mario Cimoli, who underscored that in the last decade the regional United Nations organization has put equality at the center of its proposals and policy recommendations.
The seminar, he said, takes place in the context of a joint project that ECLAC is carrying out with the European Union to promote sustainable development in Latin American and Caribbean countries, which are achieving higher income levels but which continue to confront structural gaps.
During her remarks, Stella Zervoudaki questioned the discourse against multilateralism and in favor of protectionism, which is skeptical of climate changes and relativizes fundamental rights and which, in her view, is gaining ground in the world. It is necessary to raise our voices together and make arguments to reverse this, she said.
To that end, she urged the region’s countries to join the debate about the new forms of multilateral cooperation that are needed to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, approved by the international community in 2015. She indicated that it is indispensable to create instruments that make the needs of countries at different stages of development compatible. A good example, she said, is triangular cooperation.
In the framework of the workshop, the two winners of the International Short Essay Contest on the Future of Equality in Latin America and the Caribbean were recognized. This contest is organized by ECLAC in conjunction with the Southern Cone edition of Le Monde Diplomatique and the NODAL Latin American and Caribbean news portal.
The award-winning essays are entitled “Equally free in the city,” by Nicolás Valenzuela-Levi of Chile, and “Educational inclusion of youth in the framework of the expansion of secondary-level studies in Latin America and the Caribbean,” by Mariana E. Correa of Argentina, both of whom shared part of their work on the first day of the workshop.
Eighty young people, from diverse fields and professions and coming from 20 different countries, participated in the contest. The winning essays will be published in the September and October editions of Le Monde Diplomatique and Nodal, and in a compilation prepared by ECLAC that will also include another five essays that received honorable mentions.
At the workshop – which is taking place as part of commemorations of ECLAC’s 70 years in existence and which proposes starting a dialogue on the new challenges facing the economies of the countries in transition to development – prominent international scholars will address issues such as income distribution; innovation and competitiveness in a global economy; productivity and structural change; and globalization, the industrial revolution and new emerging trends in the international system, among others.