SER leads important sessions during Ibero-American meeting forum. | SMN NEWS

Willemstad:— The Social and Economic Council (SER) of Curaçao, represented by mandate of the President-in-Office, by an official delegation led by Director and General Secretary Drs. R. J. Henriquez, participated with distinguished presence in the prestigious Ibero-American Forum of Economic and Social Advisory Councils and Similar Institutions. The event, which took place May 7-10, 2024, at the Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, focused on democracy, pacts, consensus, and the crucial role of socioeconomic advisory councils in promoting public policies for better democratic governance, sustainability, and climate change.
As president of the regional network CESISALC (Consejos Económicos y Sociales e Instituciones Similares de América Latina y el Caribe), the SER of Curaçao lead the sessions on May 9 and 10. This important meeting, organized by the Economic and Social Council of Spain and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), provided a platform for in-depth discussions on the challenges in the Ibero-American region, including the role of institutionalized social dialogue in strengthening democratic structures.
During its interventions on the green and digital transition, the Curaçao delegation used up-to-date and relevant information obtained from the Curaçao Climate Change Platform (CCCP) and the association SIMIA, which focuses on promoting the software industry by encouraging the export of locally produced software solutions. The focus here was on promoting sustainable tourism, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, and innovative maritime projects, particularly the Proteus initiative, an advanced underwater research station, observatory, and research platform. Attention was also drawn to the digital transition, particularly the increasing use of generative artificial intelligence, and the importance of the software industry as a new economic pillar for Curaçao. This is alongside existing sectors such as tourism and financial services and with the possibility of a revival of oil refining activities.
Ibero-American network
During the forum, there were further detailed discussions with the Secretaría General Iberoamericana about the possibility of establishing a network of Ibero-American socio-economic advisory councils. Although Curaçao, as an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is not among the 22 Ibero-American countries, the Curaçao ESC stressed its desire to be part of such a network as a member of CESISALC, which includes the 19 Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America, as well as Spain, Portugal, and Andorra. Participation in this network could enable Curaçao to share and gain insights on policy developments on both sides of the Atlantic.
During this four-day forum, more than 34 senior delegates from 11 countries from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe discussed the integration of sustainability and climate change policies into socioeconomic policies. The meeting highlighted the crucial role that socioeconomic councils play in advising on and shaping policies that promote social cohesion and economic stability. Also present were representatives from the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), who contributed to the discussions on these important topics.
The Curaçao ESC recognizes the value of international cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and best practices. The meeting helped strengthen Curaçao's position within the Ibero-American socio-economic landscape and generated insights and commitments that may be relevant to future policy developments on the island.
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