The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Thursday marked the end of the III Latin American and Caribbean States Summit (CELAC) in San Antonio de Belén.  The meeting concluded with 94 points in a political declaration to eradicate hunger, poverty and social inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The policy statement includes 94 points of agreements that were negotiated for six months by the 33 national members of CELAC, which were finally approved by the presidents at the summit in Costa Rica.

The first statement reflects the spirit of the whole summit and the common goal of 33 countries: “Reaffirm our determination to eradicate poverty, hunger and inequality in the region as a prerequisite for sustainable development.”

To achieve this, the 33 governments committed to articulate economic, social and environmental policies with citizen participation, to improve the indicators of hunger and poverty in order to eradicate these social ills by 2025.

The Third Summit of CELAC also allowed presidents and heads of state to subscribe to 25 special declarations on more specific topics such as the fight against corruption, drug trafficking, generating an agenda on climate change, strengthening education and other issues of common interest such as weapons handling.

For the first time since the first summit of CELAC, a member state – Barbados – disagreed with the final policy statement and proposed minor changes so notes were entered in the minutes which were approved by the 32 remaining countries.

President Luis Guillermo Solis (Costa Rica), said the request of Barbados was not considered irrelevant, but they could not make changes because it is a legal document that was agreed to and worked on for several months by the foreign ministers and delegations, so no official changes could be made to the substance of the statement.

After the meeting, Solis transferred pro tempore presidency to Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, who will organize the IV CELAC Summit in January 2016. (Amelia Rueda)

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica