Costa Rica inaugurated this Monday the ceremony of the 38th session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), assuming the presidency pro tempore for the period 2020-2021, for a period of two years.
The Costa Rican governor declared: “We have assumed this presidency with great enthusiasm and we are committed to promoting the mandate of this Commission, considering the principles of international cooperation, solidarity and promotion of human rights, leaving no one behind.”.
Also present at the opening session were the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres; the Secretary General of the Organization for Cooperation and Development, Angel Gurría; the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva; the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed; the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena; and the Foreign Minister of Costa Rica, Rodolfo Solano.
In his speech, which lasted 16 minutes, President Carlos Alvarado referred to the impacts of COVID-19 in the world, which have further exacerbated inequality and poverty, as well as the high debt and scarce fiscal space that they limit the possibilities for states to respond adequately to the health crisis and to invest in a timely manner to support the most affected populations.
In this context, he raised the need to strengthen and universalize our health systems, calling for a “Global Plan” that would allow us, through a coordinated multilateral response, to recover from the pandemic and its consequences.
He also requested international support for the initiatives promoted by Costa Rica such as the Repository for Access to Technologies against COVID-19 (C-TAP) and the Fund to Alleviate the COVID-19 Economy (FACE).
In response to their call, both Angel Gurría and Alicia Bárcena highlighted the importance of the FACE proposal, which seeks to provide developing countries with the necessary funds to face the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic on the economy and people, in terms of concessional and solidarity.
“Thank you, Mr. President, for this initiative that reminds us of the principle of reciprocal responsibilities between the developed world and the developing countries,” said Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC.