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Latin America and Caribbean Day (LAC Day)

Since 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, within the Bled Strategic Forum, has been organizing Latin American and Caribbean Days international conference (“LAC Day”), aimed at strengthening bilateral and biregional cooperation with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The LAC Days also foster mutual understanding and cooperation among businesses, institutions and public from both sides.

PAST EVENTS

LAC Day 2022

22 November at 16.00 (CET)

Webinar on “Water-related disaster risk management in changing climate”

Language: English

Different parts of the world suffer unevenly from the effects of climate change. The vulnerability of local environments and the economy due to climate change and a variety of water-related issues, from natural hazards to water management, are increasing. As a region, the Caribbean experiences a very high level of risk ensuing from natural hazards, resulting in significant adverse impacts on the region’s economic and social development. The panel aims to identify the climate adaptation needs relating to different aspects of water and explore cooperation potentials in remote sensing and climate data exploitation for improved disaster risk management and water source protection.

This issue has been considered a priority on the EU–LAC agenda, as stated in the Joint Communiqué of the EU27–Latin America and Caribbean Informal Ministerial Meeting of 14 December 2020 and the recent establishment of the EU Copernicus Project data centre in Panama. This is a concrete example of the exchange and sharing of information, know-how, research and data for stronger prevention of climate disasters that can benefit the Caribbean. Both technology and cooperation can lead to the development of solutions for the enhanced protection of citizens.

The event is organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, under the auspices of the Bled Strategic Forum, in cooperation with Global Water partnership Slovenia and the EU-LAC Foundation.

 

Event summary

The 4th LAC Days 2022 conference event on 22 November 2022 was held in a virtual format under the theme “Water-related disaster risk management in a changing climate” and focused on climate change, water, and digital solutions to address the current challenges facing both regions.

In her opening speech, Minister of Foreign Affairs Fajon stressed the importance of working with the Latin American and Caribbean region and strengthening dialogue and integration. “The LAC Days conference is an excellent opportunity to exchange views, best practices and experiences in areas of common interest and on current issues,” she said.

Minister Fajon underlined the relevance of water for human development, preservation of ecosystems, climate resilience and peace and security as well as the importance of having Latin America and the Caribbean countries as partners in facing climate change effects. She highlighted the special emphasis put on environment and water management for the 2022 edition, which reflects the strong commitment of the Slovenian government to work tighter in partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean on this issue.

Dr Adrián Bonilla, Executive Director of the EU-LAC Foundation, stressed the importance of bi-regional cooperation to tackle the urgent challenges of climate change, as storms and other disasters are causing more damage than ever before. He recalled the preoccupation expressed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union in December 2020 to promote joint strategies for risk reduction and increased preparedness. “The EU-LAC partnership”, he mentioned, “is already producing results, such as the establishment in 2022 of a data centre in Panama for the Copernicus Project, which will share satellite information to benefit Central America and the Caribbean”.

Prof. Dr Kajfež Bogataj, a renowned climatologist and also a member of the Strategic Council for Foreign Affairs of the Slovenian Foreign Minister, started the conference with introductory remarks.

The experts from Slovenia and the Caribbean presented the problems they face in their respective environments as a result of the impacts of climate change, which also increases disaster risks, and the provision of drinking water. They also presented examples of how to deal with such situations.

In the discussion, professors and researchers from the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering and the National Institute of Biology of the University of Ljubljana, the Slovenian Centre of Excellence for Space Sciences and Technologies SPACE-SI, IRCAI – IJS and a representative of the Slovenian Water Agency, as well as professors from the University of West Indies from Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, expressed their willingness for cooperation between the two regions, especially on climate change pressures, which are common to all of us. The presentations identified droughts, floods and drinking water scarcity as the biggest common pressures.

The impact of water on people, natural resources, and the economic strength of countries that can either support or slow down the recovery from any crisis was highlighted. Crisis management will increasingly focus on early warning mechanisms, for which we need systems, data and people, as well as cooperation between organisations, including at the international level.

With its themes and proposals, the debate fosters a continued concrete dialogue between institutions. The LAC Days 2023 events scheduled for March 2023 will provide a new opportunity to discuss and review the progress. A water forum with the region, already the third, is also planned to take place at that time.

The conference concluded with a presentation on sustainable tourism and digitalisation by the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic, as the Caribbean and Slovenia share challenges and opportunities in these areas.

The Latin America and Caribbean Days conference has been organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2018 as part of the Bled Strategic Forum.

The co-organisers and valuable partners of this year’s event were again the EU-LAC Foundation and the Global Water Partnership Slovenia.

LAUNCH OF D4D HUB LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

event is organised by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in partnership with the European Commission – Directorate-General for International Partnerships, and the D4D Hub Secretariat.

14 December: 15.00–16.30 (CET)

Language: English

As we are approaching the finish line of our Presidency, we are pleased to invite you to the high-level online event ‘Launch of the D4D Hub Latin America and the Caribbean’. Following the launch of the overall D4D Hub under the German presidency and the opening of the BELLA cable by our Portuguese colleagues, it is now our turn to join the efforts towards ensuring a sustainable and inclusive digital future for all.

The event will showcase impacts of digital solutions and promote a human-centric model of digital transformation across Europe and the LAC region through contributions from high-level speakers, including:

  • Ms Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships
  • Dr Stanislav Raščan, Secretary of State, acting as Minister for Development and cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia
  • Ms Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, ECLAC
  • Mr Mark Boris Andrijanič, Minister for Digital Transformation, Slovenia
  • Ambassador Mr Sarquis José Buainain Sarquis, Secretary for Foreign Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil
  • Mr Christian Guillermet Fernández, Vice-Minister for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Costa Rica
  • Ms Eva del Hovo Barbolla, Director General for Sustainable Development Policies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Spain
  • Mr Alex Wetzig, Director for Science and Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile
  • Mr Gert Auväärt, Director of Cybersecurity, Information System Authority, Estonia
  • Mr Luis Ricardo Oliva Ramos, General Administrator at the National Authority for Government Innovation, Panama
  • Mr Jyrki Pulkkirten, Ambassador for Innovation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland
  • Mr Jean-Sébastien Conty, Deputy-Director for Development, France Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Mr Roberto Viola, Director-General, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, European Commission

 

The D4D Hub is a multi-stakeholder platform that supports a human-centric digital transformation in partner countries. It is guided by five operating principles:

  • Local ownership & win-win partnerships: Facilitate partnerships that provide added value and base cooperation activities on local demand.
    Multi-Stakeholder involvement & expertise: Promote a sustainable digital transformation requires a whole-of society approach (governments and administrations, private sector, civil society, academia).
  • Sustainable & green digital transformation: Promote the twin green and digital transition, harnessing digital solutions for a green future while mitigating sustainability risks.
  • Human-centric approach: Foster inclusive digital economies and societies in which all citizens – notably women and young people – have equal opportunities to participate in the digital world. The human-centric approach puts people at the heart of the digital transformation – driven by people’s needs, fundamental rights and intersectional challenges to closing digital divides.
  • Data security & protection: Safeguard data privacy, ethics and protection in the context of individuals’ rights, digital economies and institutions.

 

THE RECOVERY AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR TRANSFORMATIVE SOCIAL CHANGE: PATHWAYS TOWARDS AN EU-LAC PARTNERSHIP FOR COHESIVE SOCIETIES

event co-organised by the Slovenian Council Presidency, the EEAS and DG INTPA in partnership with the EU-LAC Foundation and the OECD Development Centre

1 December: 15.00–17.30 (CET)

Language: English and Spanish (interpretation will be provided)

Register via zoom or follow live via BSF Facebook.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY – GOVERNANCE & SCALE

Europe & Latin America and the Caribbean in conversation about circular transition

Webinar co-organized by the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs & the EU-LAC Foundation in partnership with Exchange 4 Change Brasil (E4CB), Circular Change – Institute for circular economy, the European Circular  Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) and the Brazilian Centre for International Relations (CEBRI). 

22 November: 15.00–19.00 (CET)/11.00–15.00 (Brazil)

23 November: 15.00–18.00 (CET)/11.00–14.00 (Brazil)

Working language: English

Register via zoom or follow live via BSF Facebook.

With the EU Green Deal, the circular economy has become a top priority for a climate-neutral, resource-efficient, and competitive European economy. The EU Circular Economy Action Plan recognizes that while Europe intends to lead the process of circular transition, it cannot achieve the transformative change by acting alone. A truly global effort and outreach is needed.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region is a natural partner in the transformative global change. The region is focused on the implementation on the 2030 Agenda with special emphasis on the sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12) through the promotion of innovation, sustainable infrastructure, and the inclusive and circular economy.

While a wide and diverse network of dialogue and collaborations already exists between Europe and LAC in the area of circular economy, a more systemic bi-regional dialogue is still under construction. Circular economy is one of the priorities of the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU. The idea is to continue the discussion between the European Union and LAC and focus the exchange of ideas and solutions on the issue of governance of circular transformative processes.

Through continuous and dynamic public-private sector dialogue, circular transition could help strengthen the existing, and open up entirely new, chains of added value in international trade.The event offers a platform for business leaders from selected sectors to share their experience and expertise and engage in the dialogue about openings for new circular partnerships. The discussions are guided towards exploring potential leads for new business opportunities.

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