ICSU ROLAC members participated in the Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC)
ICSU ROLAC Regional Director, Ph.D. Manuel Limonta, and Decio Gazzoni, Chairman of ICSU ROLAC’s Disaster Risk Reduction Committee, and Dr. Erlinda Hándal, Vice-Minister of Science and Technology of El Salvador participated in the Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC), which is the most important regional political dialogue space of Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, it is the only mechanism for dialogue and concertation that permanently groups the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, establishing itself as a forum and political actor to advance the process of political, economic, social and cultural integration of the region.
CELAC is governed by a pro tempore presidency system which allows its members to rotate the presidency every year. For example, Chile hold the presidency in 2013, then Cuba in 2014, followed by Costa Rica in 2015, then Ecuador in 2016. Now, in 2017 El Salvador is in charge of the pro tempore presidency until 2018. In that context, Dr. Limonta and Dr. Gazzoni were invited by the Vice-Minister of Science and Technology of El Salvador, Dra. Erlinda Hándal, to attend and guest speak at the meeting, which was held in Brussels, Belgium on April 13-15, 2017.
In this two-day meeting, ICSU ROLAC representatives had an important participation. First, Dr. Erlinda Hándal presided three meetings, in which members of the CELAC could discuss various topics of interest for the region. Second, Dr. Manuel Limonta had the opportunity to talk about the work of the Regional Office in its six priority areas: Future Earth (Disaster Risk Reduction, Biodiversity, and Renewable Energy), Mathematics Teaching, Urban Health and Open Data. Finally, Decio Gazzoni had the opportunity to present about the work of ICSU ROLAC’s Disaster Risk Reduction Committee.
In conclusion, ICSU ROLAC, by participating in events such as the one presented above, re-affirms its compromise to strengthen international science for the benefit of society through its three main pillars: International Research Collaboration; Science for Policy; and Universality of Science.