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CELAC Summit-EU: Historical meeting of civil society and Foreign Affairs Ministers

In a move considered historic, MESA, the coalition of national NGO associations and regional networks in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the European NGO Confederation, Concord, were represented at the Summit by Laura Becerra of the Association of Mexican Civil Organizations ADOC, Miguel Santibanez, president of the Chilean NGOs Association ACCION, and Carlos Cabo of Concord Europe.

In the context of the first CELAC-EU Summit of Heads of State, Latin American and European civil society organizations delivered on Sunday their proposals and the conclusions of the VI Euro-Latin Caribbean Forum “For a change of course”, held in September 2012.

In a move considered historic, MESA, the coalition of national NGO associations and regional networks in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the European NGO Confederation, Concord, were represented at the Summit by Laura Becerra of the Association of Mexican Civil Organizations ADOC, Miguel Santibanez, president of the Chilean NGO Association ACCION, and Carlos Cabo of Concord Europe.

The organizations were received for the first time in this official space by foreign ministers and senior officials from Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe, and raised the urgency of changing the direction of economic policy in the midst of a multisystemic crisis, where the challenges for both regions are tackling inequality, the uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources and the crisis of democracy.

At the same time, CELAC is considered by Latin American organizations as a key area to strengthen political dialogue in the region, which they will seek to influence with their proposals on political, economic and rights issues, and contribute to more just and equitable relations between countries .

Also present at the meeting was the president of the Chilean union central CUT, Barbara Figueroa, and representatives of other summits that were held facing the CELAC EU meeting.

Civil society demanded:

- Development of a new global financial architecture that protects rights;

- Coherence of investment models with the objectives of sustainable development and of strengthening of human rights and democracy:

- Strengthening and democratizing the bi-regional political dialogue, actively incorporating civil society;

- Review of official development cooperation, guaranteeing reciprocity, stability and predictability.

The European and Latin American and Caribbean Civil Society Organizations, believe that now, more than ever, facing the urgency of this historical moment, the voice of the people must be heard promptly and actively, since it is a basic guarantee of social legitimacy and democratic governance in dealing with determination with the global systemic crisis facing our continents.