GRULAC Seeks Regional Positions on Post-2015 Agenda
November 2013: Ambassadors from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (GRULAC), UN agencies and civil society representatives discussed regional priorities for the post-2015 development agenda, agreeing on areas of procedural, operational and conceptual convergence. The Autumn Retreat took place in Tarrytown, New York, US, from 29-31 October 2013.
The region - which includes a high number of Middle Income Countries (MIC) and small island developing States (SIDS) - has been "lagging behind in defining regional positions" on the post-2015 development agenda, according to Heraldo Muñoz, Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region.
On procedural issues, retreat participants supported convergence towards a single post-2015 agenda. On operational issues, participants highlighted the need to ensure the UN adapts to the needs of a changing LAC region and the world, and cautioned against 'silo' approaches to development. Participants agreed on several areas of conceptual convergence, inter alia: the importance of transformational change and a nuanced approach to poverty metrics that goes beyond aggregate figures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP); and reflecting on what common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) mean for a universal agreement. In addition, participants recognized the perspectives of MICs and SIDS as “defining features” of LAC.
Participants supported a development agenda that stresses equality, inclusion and human rights, and that addresses governance, resilience, the digital gap and structural changes. Discussions also addressed: leveraging South-South and triangular cooperation; deepening links with Africa to facilitate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); integrating unfinished MDGs into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and means of implementation and financing mechanisms.
Muñoz noted that LAC “has learnt from the MDG agenda that higher-threshold development is possible, particularly to close inequality gaps in MICs.” LAC is expected to agree on a road map for the post-2015 agenda in the coming months.
The UN Development Group for LAC (UNDG LAC) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) supported the retreat. [UNDP Press Release] [IISD RS Story on LAC Civil Society Consultations] [IISD RS Sources] [Summary of Retreat]