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(November 16, 2021) The Government of Peru and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reaffirmed their resolve to strengthen cooperation on distinct matters related to economic, social and environmental development, during an official visit lasting 24 hours that Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, made yesterday to that country.
The senior United Nations authority led an official ECLAC mission to Lima, the first since President Pedro Castillo was sworn into office on July 28 of this year, with the aim of reaffirming the organization’s willingness to work jointly on those areas that the new administration has a special interest in furthering.
Bárcena was received in the Government Palace by President Pedro Castillo, with whom she spoke about the challenges of the post-pandemic recovery, the urgency of a new development pattern that is more sustainable and egalitarian, the strengthening of regional integration, and the closing of deep asymmetries in vaccination at a global, regional and national level, among other issues.
During the meeting, the regional organization’s Executive Secretary presented the President with details on the Plan for Self-Sufficiency in Health Matters, prepared by ECLAC at the request of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and approved unanimously during the regional bloc’s VI Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in Mexico City on September 18. Also present at the meeting was Prime Minister Mirtha Vásquez, who presides over the Council of Ministers.
ECLAC’s highest authority also met with the Vice President of the Republic and Minister of Development and Social Inclusion, Dina Boluarte; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Oscar Maúrtua, and of Economy and Finance, Pedro Francke; the Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations, Anahí Durand; and the Health Minister, Hernando Cevallos. Very early in the day, Alicia Bárcena held a meeting with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Peru, Igor Garafulic, and the UN team in that country.
With the Vice President and Minister of Development and Social Inclusion, Dina Boluarte, Bárcena addressed social development-related challenges, particularly the fight against poverty, hunger, malnutrition and anemia.
During that conversation, the senior official committed ECLAC’s technical support to developing a social observatory with a multidimensional approach for identifying people who need basic state services, and thereby expanding the coverage of social programs, while also achieving financial and productive inclusion.
She also pointed up the creation of the unified national registry of soup kitchens, Mankachay Perú (Mi ollita Perú), and confirmed that ECLAC will contribute to strengthening the assistance provided by soup kitchens. In addition, she proposed creating a basic digital basket aimed at households in rural areas.
The deepening of cooperation ties and the strengthening of regional integration were among the issues addressed with Foreign Minister Oscar Maúrtua, while Bárcena’s dialogue with the Minister of Economy and Finance, Pedro Francke, centered on changing the energy matrix, tax reform and diversification of the economy, among other topics.
Finally, in the meeting with the Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations, Anahí Durand, the officials addressed issues such as the National Care System, the implementation of the National Gender Policy, and measures to counteract the differentiated impact of COVID-19 on women.
Peru has been a member of ECLAC since February 25, 1948, which is to say since the UN Regional Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean was created. Currently, ECLAC and Peru engage in cooperation activities in numerous areas such as the circular economy; mining and sustainable energy; trade; infrastructure and logistics; social, economic and environmental statistics; social inclusion; and pension systems.
Peru currently serves as Chair of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Vice Chair of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean and of the Committee on South-South Cooperation.
ECLAC’s delegation, led by Alicia Bárcena, was composed of Mario Cimoli, Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC; Luis Yáñez, Secretary of the Commission; and Alberto Arenas, Director of the Social Development Division. They were accompanied by the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Peru, Igor Garafulic.