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Remarks by Ambassador Yolande Smith Permanent Representative of Grenada and Chair of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development Al Report of the Council to the Regular Session of the General Assembly - Medellin Colombia 2019




Monday, July 1, 2019 4:54 PM- George's, Grenada
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REMARKS BY AMBASSADOR YOLANDE SMITH
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF GRENADA AND CHAIR OF THE
INTER-AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR INTEGRAL DEVELOPMENT
PRESENTATION OF THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE COUNCIL TO THE
REGULAR SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY – MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA 2019

Thank you, Chair.

Foreign Ministers; colleague Permanent Representatives; other high-level officials and delegates, good morning/afternoon.

I am deeply honored to represent the Inter American Council for Integral Development – CIDI – and to present to this
General Assembly, the Annual Report of the Council for Integral Development, as well as the draft resolution entitled
“Advancing Hemispheric Initiatives for Integral Development” for consideration.

Before doing so, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Chairs of the various CIDI organs/ for their support
and for their hard work during this past year under challenging circumstances.

I also wish to recognize Executive Secretary Kim Osborne and offer my appreciation for her leadership and for the support to the staff of the Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI), which enabled CIDI to fulfill the vision and to execute the mandates of the organization.

The work of CIDI

The meetings of CIDI, over which I had the honor of presiding during the first half of 2019, and those chaired by my
esteemed colleague, Ambassador Carlos Trujillo of the United States, during the latter half of 2018, engaged in
substantive dialogue on the following matters:

• “Financial Empowerment of Women for the Sustainable Social and Economic Development of the Americas”

• “Education and Employment in a Changing World of Work”


• “Regional Impact of Forced Displacement”

• “Innovative Financing for Resilience Building for Sustainable Development”

• “Building the Resilient Economies of the Future: Blue, Green and Orange Economies”,

• “Strengthening the Nexus between Science and Policy for Effective Cooperation in Integrated Water
Resources Management”; and

• A Proposal for an “OAS Disaster Response Framework (OAS-DRF)”.

In addition to providing fresh insights on policy challenges and opportunities on matters of critical importance to Member
States, these meetings were intended to guide the efforts of SEDI in positioning itself to better support OAS Member States.

The following meetings of CIDI organs were held over the past year.

• The 11th Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Ports (CIP), hosted by the Government of Mexico in 2018, provided an opportunity for National Port Authorities, as well as participants from international organizations, the private sector, and civil society, to discuss policies and practices to promote the sustainable development of ports, including 4th Generation ports that are faster, smarter, cleaner and more interconnected.

• At the Second Specialized CIDI Meeting of High-Level Cooperation Authorities held in Washington, DC on September 20-21, 2018 we explored best practices and opportunities for joint collaboration with respect to disaster risk management and resilience building.

• The Fourth Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Social Development within the Framework of CIDI, held in March 2019 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, adopted the Inter-American Declaration of Social Development Priorities as well as the Plan of Action of Guatemala.

• The Sixth Inter-American Dialogue of High-Level Authorities of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) held from 24-25 April 2019 in San Salvador, engaged public and private sector stakeholders in dialogue on policies and programs to enhance the competitiveness, innovation and internationalization of MSMEs. SEDI also launched its SME Digitization Plan which will support the digitization of more than 3 million SMEs in the Americas.

• The Eighth Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Committee on Education (CIE), held on October 4-5, 2018, advanced the realization of the Inter-American Education Agenda (IEA) by building consensus on intersectoral collaboration among public sector institutions of labor and education, multilateral governmental organizations, the academic sector, and civil society organizations and set the stage for the 10th Meeting of Ministers of Education to be convened in Washington DC in a few weeks.

The work of SEDI

The Annual Report also features the activities carried out by SEDI. The following are a few examples of what we have achieved since the last General Assembly.

• SEDI initiatives in innovation and competitiveness, such as the bi-annual Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE), the HUB on Technology Transfer and Commercialization for the Americas, and the Caribbean Small Business Development Center (SBDC) project, provided technical assistance, training and partnerships for over 9,000 public sector officials, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.

• SEDI’s work in human development and education provided over 3,500 citizens of the Americas with access
to quality, inclusive and equitable education through the OAS Scholarship and Training Programs and the Leo
Rowe Fund. Member States have also continued the work of sustainable, citizen-centered reform of the Scholarships and Training Program.

• The Inter-American Teacher Education Network (ITEN) provided 29,000 education professionals across the
Americas with expanded access to teacher resources; and the Educational Portal of the Americas (PEA), trained 300 education professionals on STEM/STEAM Education.

• Through over 100 capacity building, policy dialogue, and technical cooperation activities SEDI supported
member states in the implementation of the Inter-American Program for Sustainable Development (PIDS).

This included the development of the Caribbean Energy Knowledge Hub (CEKH), in collaboration with the World Bank, to serve as an information repository of sustainable energy best practices and applied knowledge; the development and launch of earth observation technology, in collaboration with Argentina's National Space

Activities Commission (CONAE), to enhance water, agriculture and disaster risk management; and the design,
in collaboration with the Caribbean Water and Waste Water Association (CWWA) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), of a Regional Action Plan for Governance and Building Climate Resilience in the Caribbean.

Conclusion

Chair, going forward, creative and innovative solutions will be needed to leverage potential sources of sustainable
financing within the Americas and globally. In this regard, I commend the SEDI’s development of a Partnerships Roadmap to guide its efforts towards better collaboration with, and leveraging of the support of the private sector, academia and other relevant non-governmental partners. It is by fully utilizing these new avenues for cooperation that the OAS can remain relevant and effective.

Chair, distinguished delegates, I urge that we keep up the momentum.

With that Chair, I invite the Assembly to view a short video entitled SEDI Forward highlighting SEDI‘s work over the
reporting period and as well as planned initiatives.


I Thank you.


 

 

 

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