The “Positive Conversations” arrive to Latin America 

Following the initiative proposed by ORU Fogar's President, Abdessamad Sekkal, "Positive Conversations", calling on the regional world to debate the role of the regions in the post-COVID-19 governance, the space for dialogue was opened for the first time to Latin American regions. On previous occasions, Moroccan, French, Belgian, Finnish, Senegalese and Ivorian regional leaders had participated in the talks.

On 16 April 2021, the fourth Positive Conversation took place, in which Manuel Fernando Calvo, vice-governor of the region of Córdoba, Argentina, spoke with Marcelo Carrasco, regional councillor of Araucanía, Chile, and president of the National Association of Regional Councillors of Chile (ANCORE). While both agreed on the importance of local and regional governments in the most critical moments of the pandemic, they also underlined the need for greater decentralisation in order to achieve a more effective response. The vice-governor defended the reinforcement of the regional authority, pointing out that "the decentralisation process can only be carried out with the allocation of the corresponding resources that allow the efficient application of public policies in local governments". The regional councillor agreed on the importance of fiscal and administrative decentralisation. “Until there is a real decentralisation process, he said, the situation is going to be complex”.

Manuel Calvo was not only in favour of delegating more competences to the provinces/regions. He also stressed the imperative need to create collaboration agreements with private agents, which provide effective solutions for citizens. Marcelo Carrasco agreed, stressing the importance of improving access to public services, through the connectivity of the regions and the establishment of strategic alliances between the public and private sectors.

The two speakers agreed that new governance implies immediacy in building relationships between the different levels of governance. In the same way, they also stressed the importance of cooperation between regions in order to achieve their social objectives.  

 

 

A month later, on 14 May 2021, the fifth Positive Conversation took place between Pablo Jurado, president of the Consortium of Autonomous Provincial Governments of Ecuador (CONGOPE) and prefect of the Imbabura region, Ecuador, and Camilo Lloreda, manager of the Administrative and Planning Region (RAP) Pacific, Colombia. The manager, Camilo Lloreda, stated that the COVID-19 pandemic accentuated and made visible other types of pandemics that had been latent in the country for a long time, such as malaria and the lack of connectivity. "COVID-19 made visible how the central level should address and understand the issue of decentralisation". At the same time, he mentioned that until now many functions had been transferred to the territorial level, but with scarce resources. The President of CONGOPE pointed in the same direction, stressing that "in order to decentralise a competence, it must be accompanied by economic resources". Likewise, he also said he was in favour of strengthening alliances between the state and private enterprise, since it is the latter that can produce more opportunities. “The good ruler, he stressed, is not the one who has the most workers in the state, but the one who finds the most initiatives to generate wealth and opportunities”.

In the conclusions, Camilo Lloreda reiterated the importance of carrying out decentralisation from the territory to the central level in a multi-sectoral and multi-level manner. These words were highlighted by the prefect of the Imbabura region, who insisted that "the best strategy for central governments is to generate alliances with their local governments".

 

 

The initiative will continue on 16 September with a "Positive Conversation" between the President of the National Assembly of Regional Governments (ANGR) of Peru and Governor of Ayacuco, Carlos Rúa, and the Mayor of Lavalleja (Uruguay), Mario Garcia.

The conclusions of all these dialogues will shape a report that ORU Fogar's Secretariat will present to the organisation's 2021 Assembly.

More info: Positive conversation - Oru Fogar (regionsunies-fogar.org)

 

Newsletter

Suscribe to our latest news...
 

© All rights reserved ORU. Barcelona 2021