Watch photo gallery of ECLAC's Thirty-third Session
(Brasilia, 2 June 2010) "The future challenges are enormous. There are many gaps to close, as ECLAC has said," stated the President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva last night during the closing ceremony of the Thirty-third Session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) held in Brasilia.
"The world expects signs of leadership. It's time for politics; the time for equality has arrived," he added, speaking before delegates and participants to the meeting.
The Brazilian president was welcomed by ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena, who highlighted his leadership, "which has been an inspiration to our institution."
President Lula congratulated ECLAC for its Thirty-third Session, in which representatives of its 44 member and nine associate States approved the comprehensive approach to development centered on equality set forth by the Executive Secretariat.
The Head of State said he was pleased to receive ECLAC in Brasilia just as its office in Brazil celebrates its 50-year anniversary.
"Brasilia is the symbol of the dream of overcoming underdevelopment, which has been ECLAC's reason to be since its creation. ECLAC would not exist without that reason, given that it was pioneer in denouncing the inequalities between the developed north and the developing south," he said.
ECLAC, added President Lula, has made a contribution of high political value: the creation of a common political and economic destiny; the document presented during the Session, Time for equality: closing gaps, opening trails, is an eloquent demonstration of this concern.
"The region has taken significant steps to recover its self-confidence. We hadn't seen so much democratic exercise in Latin America in a long time. Economic development and social justice have become a key priority now," he stated.
Alicia Bárcena said that this Session will go down in history "as in 1949, when the new ideas of ECLAC turned into 'the victory of Montevideo'. I am convinced that here, now, we are starting to build the 'victory of Brasilia' against inequality."
The President of Brazil noted that a new concept of integration exists today which seeks to create a multipolar world without confrontation. "Democracy is installed in the continent and its engine are the marginalized, the excluded classes," he said.
"We are aiming at strengthening the domestic consumer market as well as the regional consumer market to combat inequality," added President Lula.
Lastly, he pledged Brazil's support to South-South technical cooperation.
More information on the Thirty-third session of ECLAC is available on the webpage.
For enquiries and interviews, please contact ECLAC's Public Information and Web Services Section, dpisantiagocepal.org; telephones: (56-2) 210-2040/2149.