Regional Forum on Green Economy for Latin America
The Regional Forum on Green Economy for Latin America was opened on Tuesday 3 November 2015 under the auspices of the United Nations System and the global initiative Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE).
The opening ceremony was led by the Colombian Minister of Labour, Luis Eduardo Garzón, the Representative for the Andean Region at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Johannes Dobinger, and the Senior Specialist on Enterprises, Cooperatives and Rural Development at the ILO Country Office for the Andean Countries, Philippe Vanhuynegem.
This Regional Forum comes at an important juncture within the current international context, following the adoption last September of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations General Assembly and one month from the start of the Twenty-first Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will take place in Paris. The Forum is based on the successful learning experience of PAGE’s first global Academy on the Green Economy held in October 2014 at the International Training Centre of the ILO. The methodology includes keynote speeches and specialized elective courses that each participant can select in accordance with his or her interests.
According to the UNIDO Representative, Johannes Dobinger, « of the seventeen SDGs recently adopted, ten specifically deal with the concept of green economy, in particular Goal 8 » (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all).
Minister Garzón stated that the post-peace accord situation is closely linked to the green economy due to the importance of the countryside, making reference to the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Colombian Government and the ILO. « A quarter of Colombian territory is rural, with problems of gender inequality in the labour market and young people abandoning the countryside, » stressed Garzón.
The Colombian Minister of Labour recalled that the Colombian National Development Plan for 2014–2018 includes a strategic focus on green growth, and he concluded his remarks by stating that « there is a strong interest in encouraging initiatives like PAGE in Colombia » and that his Ministry is prepared to seek PAGE’s support to foster increased interministerial work on the green economy, sustainable development and decent work. Finally, he invited the participants to make use of the forum to establish an active network for awareness raising and knowledge sharing.