The III LED Forum in Barranquilla and Colombian regionalism

Eduardo Verano,

Governor Atlantic Department,

Host III LED Forum of Latin America

Our Atlantic Leader has the doors open for the 3rd Regional Forum of Local Economic Development for Latin America and the Caribbean that is promoted by RED ADELCO. Hosting this great event between the 7th and 9th of May in Barranquilla is an unparalleled opportunity for us, because it becomes a window to showcase the work we lead for the equity of all territories in Colombia. 

In this sense, we fully identify with the decentralization efforts made by the organizers of the forum, in which crucial aspects of local economic development will be analyzed from a thematic and regional perspective.

In Colombia, we have also been working hard and relentlessly for regionalization and decentralization, and we already have important results. One of them was the fact that 2.5 million people said "yes" to the autonomy of the Caribbean Region in 2010. We have to close the gaps that make, for example, the Caribbean Region represent 22 % of the country's population and only handle 14 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

This country is advancing in the creation of its administration and planning regions (RAP), as established by the Political Constitution of 1991 in its Article 306. To date, we have 4 legally constituted RAP (Pacific, Coffee Axis, Central and Caribbean), where 70% of the country's population and GDP are grouped. In addition, for the first time, we have achieved that the National Development Plan (PND) has a regional pact that will allow us to make progress on issues of equity. In the Caribbean and other regions of the country, we still have the goal of consolidating ourselves as a Territorial Entity Region (RET), in order to achieve true autonomy, with more resources from the General Participation System (SGP), competencies and own authorities.

With the constitution of the RAPs, we seek to unite communities, to know their main needs and to incorporate solutions into long-term planning processes. For this reason, the co-relation of our reality with the themes programmed in the forum for local development is key. This is the only way to find the solutions that the territories need.

We look forward to participating in this forum that will address key issues such as employment, empowerment, migration, decentralization and territorial governance, integrated and sustainable management of natural resources, and public policies for the promotion of local and territorial economic development, among others. 

Giving tools for the management of issues related to the territories will always have highly positive results because regions don't only receive the legal inputs and economic resources for decentralization, but also empowerment to define their vision and materialization of development. 

The autonomous or federal governments account for processes of modernity of public administration, which is far from the highly centralist governments that today are considered anachronistic because they turn the state apparatus into bureaucratized and slow entities, whose policies do not benefit the citizens of the peripheral provinces.


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