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June 5, 2020
Presiding officers of parliaments of the Americas participated in a virtual meeting with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on economic recovery and joint parliamentary actions that can be taken in the face of the current crisis.

On Friday, June 5, 2020, ParlAmericas held a virtual meeting on economic recovery from COVID-19, which included the participation of the presiding officers of 15 legislative branches of the Americas, and a keynote address by Ms. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC. Parliamentarians, parliamentary officials and ambassadors from the region were also in attendance.

The meeting began with welcoming remarks from Member of the National Assembly Elizabeth Cabezas (Ecuador), President of ParlAmericas, and continued with the keynote speaker. In her address, Ms. Bárcena highlighted the importance of promoting an equitable economic recovery in the region: “Following this crisis, institutional channels will be required to listen to and process the multiple demands that will come as a result of the serious economic and social effects of COVID-19, and parliaments will be crucial at that crossroads. A welfare State is needed, based on a new social compact (fiscal, social and productive) that includes universal access to health care, that is, to the basic infrastructure of life.”

After the keynote address, a high-level inter-parliamentary dialogue was moderated by Senator Rosa Gálvez (Canada), vice-president of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change. This dialogue allowed for an exchange in which the presiding officers of the various parliaments shared the legislative actions that their countries have taken to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic.

During the virtual meeting, details were also shared regarding the Compendium of Legislative and Executive Actions from the Americas and the Caribbean in Response to COVID-19, a resource developed by ParlAmericas and the National Assembly of Ecuador that systematizes the initial measures carried out to counter the impacts of the pandemic in the hemisphere. The compendium includes the legislation and executive orders that have been adopted regarding health care systems, social protection, employment, and other topics. It also highlights considerations related to openness, gender equality and sustainability in these responses, offering several starting points for dialogue on possible future actions.

Lastly, Member of the National Assembly Elizabeth Cabezas provided the final reflections in thanking Ms. Bárcena and ECLAC and the participating presiding officers for a productive dialogue: “Disorientation and mistrust are symptoms that aggravate the economic scenario in a region that urgently needs to create conditions to strengthen its economy in a creative, innovative manner, capable of replacing old formulas with new paradigms that are more equitable, fairer, and that prioritize human development over crude figures of financial growth. For this reason, today more than ever, our parliaments have a pressing need to provide answers to our peoples. Beyond the political differences, our legislatures are urgently focused on proposing and approving sound regulations based on real data and, above all, ones that present practical and tangible solutions for citizens.”

For more information on the work of ParlAmericas, visit and follow @ParlAmericas on social media.