Executive Secretary of ECLAC Made an Official Visit to Cuba
Alicia Bárcena met with senior government authorities and gave a magisterial conference on regional integration processes at the University of Havana.
(10 February 2012) The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, made an official visit to Cuba from 6 to 8 February, which involved several meetings with senior government officials.
The head of this regional commission of the United Nations and Cuban authorities agreed to broaden the partnership agenda to support Cuba's efforts to update its economic model. According to Ms. Bárcena, this process coincides with ECLAC thinking, in particular, with respect to the main objective of guaranteeing equal rights and opportunities by strengthening productive development with fair employment.
She said that ECLAC is working with several countries in this direction, according to the realities in each country, and is highlighting the best experiences of those nations which have made progress in the area of social equality.
Ms. Bárcena met with the Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX), Rodrigo Malmierca, the Chancellor Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, the Vice-Presidents of the Council of Ministers, Marino Murillo and Ricardo Cabrisas, and the Deputy Minister Mara RamosLemus.
The official visit also included meetings with the Vice-President of the Central Bank of Cuba, Yamile Berra, the Head of the National Statistics and Information Office (ONEI), Alexander Rodríguez, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Cuba, Bárbara Pesce-Monteiro, and other representatives of agencies of the United Nations in Cuba.
The Director of the Programme Planning and Operations Division, Raúl García-Buchaca, and the Director of ECLAC Subregional Headquarters in Mexico, Hugo Beteta, accompanied the Executive Secretary as part of her delegation.
During her visit, the Executive Secretary of ECLAC gave a magisterial conference entitled "The processes of regional integration in Latin America and the Caribbean", which was held in the Magna conference room at the University of Havana and was attended by students, academics, civil servants and representatives of the diplomatic corps.
In her presentation, Ms. Bárcena highlighted in particular the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which was created recently. She said that this new space for regional integration and cooperation can help the countries to bridge gaps which remain in investment, productivity and taxation, among others, and progress towards development with equality.
Other participants in this activity included the Vice-Chancellor of Inter-institutional Relations at the University of Havana, Cristina Díaz, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Relations, Abelardo Moreno, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Aurelio Mollineda, and the President of the Commission for Economic Affairs of the National Assembly of People's Power and Director of the International Economic Study Centre, Osvaldo Martínez.
The partnership agenda between ECLAC and the Government of Cuba has been focused in particular on statistics, but it has been agreed to expand it to other areas. Between 2010 and 2011, seven technical assistance visits were made to ONEI in Havana and several Cuban civil servants received training at the headquarters of this Organization of the United Nations in Santiago, Chile.
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