International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions

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WEBINAR - CESALC - Latin America - December 7, 2021



During the webinar of December 7, 2021, the objective was to Identify and reach a consensus on the main advances of the region in the field of social dialogue and the Sustainable Development Goals.


The Social-Economic Council of Curaçao, acting as Vice-Secretary General for AICESIS of the Latin American and Caribbean region, on the 7th of December 2021 hosted a well visited regional meeting. The objective of the meeting was to identify and reach a consensus on the mayor advances in the region in the sphere of social dialogue and the sustainable development goals.

At the meeting, which was opened by the Vice-Secretary General of AICESIS for the region, mrs. M. Sboui-Racamy, the Secretary General of AICESIS, mr. A. Xyrafis addressed the participants with remarks on AICESIS as well as on the importance of the meeting and the subjects to be discussed at the meeting. He emphasized that because of the pandemic the attention to the SDG’s had diminished though because of the health measures the importance now to fulfill them is bigger than ever.


The meeting had as a special guest mrs. R.M. Caroca Herrera of Chile that working as a consultant in Chile is dedicated to focusing and promoting the Agenda 2030 and the 17 SDG’s. She shared her experience of working on the SDG’s in Chile and gave recommendations on the bases of that. She emphasized that the participation of the citizenship in these efforts is crucial.
She finished with a very thoughtful quote of Confucius (孔子):
"In a well-governed country, poverty is a source of shame, but in a poorly governed country, the reason for shame is poverty."


The participants, Social Economic Councils and Similar Institutions of Aruba, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Sint Maarten, Surinam and Uruguay, had the honor then to be addressed by the President of the SEC of Surinam, mrs. S. Kisoensingh. She spoke about the development of Social Dialogue both national and internationally. Besides elaborating on the benefits she also addressed the challenges. On concluding she remarked: “Social dialogue is also a great tool to get out of the COVID-19 crisis and safe work, social justice and sustainable development and to achieve more resilient, sustainable, just and inclusive societies after the lessons learned of the pandemic.”


The presentation of the Secretary-General of Sint Maarten, mr. G. Richardson, pertaining to Climate Change emphasized the uniqueness of their Small Island and their emission of carbon dioxide (based on garbage production and emissions of cruise ships) which is on a global and Caribbean regional scale very high. Sint Maarten also experiences the impact of Climate change because they are in the hurricane belt and will be experiencing higher sea levels. Hurricane Irma in 2017 caused damage on Sint Maarten estimated at US $ 2.1 billion and they are aware that hurricanes will be formed more often and will become stronger. In closing he gave some recommendations addressed to the government along the lines of educating the citizens about climate change and mitigating the effects. He also recommended that the government embark on mitigating the effects of climate change. Especially the video of the BBC on the impact of Irma on the island brought it home.


The Secretary General of the Nacional Council for Development of Panama, mr. B. Garisto Petrovich gave a presentation titled: “the SDGs and the economic and social situation in Panama”. After enlightening the participants on the composition and some history of the council he shared the work the council has done on the SDG’s. One mayor accomplishment was that in 2017 the council emitted “Strategic National Plan with vision of the state Panama 2030”. They shared the structure of that plan and mentioned that they are also part of the Interinstitutional and Civil Society Commission for the adherence and tracking of the SDG’s. They also participated in the High Level Political Forum on the ODS’s. The received a copy of the Panama National Voluntary Report on the SDG’s. The Pandemic had a high negative impact on the employment rate in Panama. To come out of the crises they focus on stimulating sustainable economic growth, consolidation of public finances, engaging in social dialogue to redress the social protection challenges, work towards getting the country of international black lists. There is hope as different national and international organizations foresee economic growth for Panama.


The Vice-Secretary General of the Social Economic Council of Guatemala, mr. J. Castañeda gave a presentation entitled: “The SDG’s (mayor advances within the scope of social dialogue)”. He not only shared how their strategic plan was set up but also the method used and the plan they executed. As it was a very inclusive process at the end they had a national development strategy. They also came up with some recommendations for the country that encompassed among others creating more transparency, coming up with a national information system, reforming the state through social dialogue.


Pertaining to the regional network of Social Economic Councils of Latin America and the Caribbean (CESALC) the Vice Secretary General of AICESIS, mrs. M. Sboui-Racamy, informed that given the high attendance of the meeting and the messages received from Argentina and Costa Rica the relevance of the regional network is very much felt. After consulting with the SEC of Honduras, which holds the presidency of the network in the person of mr. J. Escobar the SEC of Curaçao promised to work towards a joint meeting with AICESIS in the first trimester of next year.


The closing remarks were delivered by mr. R. Henriquez, Director and Secretary General of the SEC of Curaçao. He thanked all the participants, especially the newly elected SG of AICESIS and the other presenters. He reiterated that pertaining to the special theme of the session :”Progresses in the region in light of the SDG’s and the central role that social dialogue plays in that regard” best practices were exchanged. The Director, in resuming the outcome of the different interventions, stated that inclusive social dialogue and citizen engagement is a precondition to enhance social cohesion and ownership of recovery measures in this COVID era. Because in our region, citizens are looking for ways to influence policy decisions that address post-COVID recovery, a culture of openness by integrating citizens and stakeholders in key decision-making processes is imperative besides greater accountability of governments. The foregoing is especially relevant as governments can’t deal alone with all the current challenges not limited to COVID related challenges. The COVID related challenges will require a reassessment period and a long term recovery plan along the lines of the OECD broad principles of open government (transparency, integrity, accountability and citizen participation). Inclusive participation is fundamental to a sustainable, socially cohesive society that “works towards the well-being of all its members, fights exclusion and marginalization, creates a sense of belonging, promotes trust, and offers its members the opportunity of upward social mobility”.



pdf Renion AICESIS7december2021 (161 KB)


pdf 2021 12 07 Agenda 2030 Challenges Rosa Caroca CHILE (312 KB)


pdf 20211207 ReunionCESALC CCND v 01 (4.41 MB)


pdf Presentación CESGT 7 diciembre (002) (2.01 MB)


pdf Social Economic Council AICESIS presentation Climate change (856 KB)


  pdf The development of Social Dialogue AICESISSURINAME (782 KB)


See the Video : Hurricane Irma: St Martin before and after - BBC News :






International Conference on Climate Change










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