Announcements
15 March 2021

New Regional Collaborative Platform gathers UN entities to support Latin America and the Caribbean as countries respond and recover better from COVID-19

San Jose, Costa Rica, 15 March 2021 – Regional entities of the United Nations in Latin America and the Caribbean’s are stepping up to channel know-how, resources, networks and logistics capacity to support countries, Resident Coordinators and UN teams on the ground to address multiple shocks in the developing region most affected by the pandemic. These issues were stressed by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, as she chaired the first annual meeting of the new Regional Collaborative Platform for Latin America and the Caribbean on 15 March 2021.

“This is the moment the rubber hits the road for the UN. We need to raise ambition. Let us remember that in many ways this is the region that gave birth to the conceptual vision behind the 2030 agenda. The right decisions and investments made now will be a gamechanger for this Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals,” said United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, who chairs the regional collaborative platform – a new mechanism bringing together all UN entities with regional activities to support the sustainable development of the region.  

Latin America and the Caribbean faces the worst economic recession in 120 years, with more than a third of its population living in poverty. Countries have responded with significant emergency socioeconomic measures. According to the COVID-19 Observatory in Latin America and the Caribbean of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), an estimated 1.25 per cent of regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was spent on emergency social protection measures in 2020, which helped to slow down the increase in poverty. 

Under unprecedented circumstances, the United Nations has been making progress on its sweeping reforms to boost support to countries, leveraging its capacities at all levels to support countries. 

“The present crisis requires more and better State and not less to maintain emergency support to the most vulnerable and foster a transformative recovery with equality and sustainability at the centre. International solidarity is urgent to ensure access to financing, climate security and vaccines. Financing for development is key, particularly for middle-income countries. The UN stands ready to continue supporting Member States of the region in steering a transformative recovery”, said Under-Secretary-General Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, in her capacity as Vice-Chair of the RCP in the region. 

“The path towards recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean has to be through strengthening effective governance. This means rethinking policies, reviewing rules and allowing the formation of new coalitions that reimagine the social contract in the region”, said Assistant Secretary-General Luis Felipe López-Calva, Director of the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in his capacity as Vice-Chair of the platform.

The Regional Collaborative Platform meeting took place ahead of the Fourth Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, which starts virtually tomorrow 16 March 2021, under the chair of Costa Rica as ECLAC’s current presidency pro tempore.

About

The Regional Collaborative Platform (RCP) for Latin America and the Caribbean was established in November 2020, in response to the United Nations Secretary-General’s recommendations on the repositioning of the United Nations development system at the regional level. The RCP brings together all entities with regional activities to support the sustainable development of the region. The Regional Collaborative Platform for Latin America and the Caribbean is chaired by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Amina J. Mohammed with two Vice-Chairs: Ms. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, and Mr. Luis Felipe López-Calva, Regional Director of UNDP for Latin America and the Caribbean. Its Joint Secretariat comprises ECLAC, UNDP and the United Nations Development Coordination Office (DCO).

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A screenshot of participants to the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coordination Platform meeting
Caption: Meeting participants with United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed
Photo: Sophie Achache