Latin American and Caribbean region is facing a complex set of economic and social circumstances that threaten the conditions needed for further progress towards the goal of eradicating all forms of poverty and ensuring that no one is left behind, as required by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These temporary challenges are compounded by structural problems, such as low productivity, high levels of inequality, social exclusion and a failure to care for the environment.
This document argues that to overcome those challenges and ensure the economic, social and cultural rights of the entire population, the region must move towards a virtuous circle of development in which productive diversification, progressive structural change and environmental momentum are accompanied by inclusive social development. In this virtuous circle, creating decent work goes hand in hand with maintaining levels of social investment to ensure universal access to education, health, social protection systems, housing and basic infrastructure (energy, clean water and sanitation).
Analysing the gaps, axes and linkages between the region’s social and productive spheres is part of the mandate that the Latin American and Caribbean countries handed down to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean at the first meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Santo Domingo in November 2016.