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Latin America and the Caribbean Economic and Social Councils Network (CESALC)

Date of entry: March 25, 2015

Mission and attributions

The CESALC Network arises in the context of strengthening democracy and participation, in face of the commitment to promote integration and expand cooperation between the countries of the region. A proposal to create the CESALC Network was designed after dialogues between representatives of economic and social councils and similar institutions from Latin America and the Caribbean. The Network adds itself to a series of efforts aimed at promoting social participation and dialogue, focusing on development in its different aspects. The Network also aims at contributing for the overcoming of common problems faced by the region´s government and society.

The first CESALC meeting was held in Brasilia (Brazil), in June 2013, when economic and social councils and similar institutions from nine countries of the region committed themselves to strengthen the Network as a tool for dialogue and exchange of knowledge, enabling diffusion of experiences and establishing an agenda of topics of common interest. In the Brasilia Charter, the final document of the meeting, the present economic and social councils also agreed to participate in the administration of the Network, contributing to its consolidation and establishing a shared management model.

To promote the exchange of information is one of the main goals of the Network, and it has been an important practice adopted since its creation. Besides meetings for debating agreed common issues and exchanging views of participating ESCs, the Network launched a website in Portuguese, Spanish and English in order to facilitate the sharing of information on the agenda, work and accomplishments of each ESC. Taking into consideration the elevated costs of organizing on-site meetings and the difficulties for gathering representatives, the Network also promotes video-conferences for debating both management and thematic issues.




Institutional characteristics

Date of creation
Year operational
Nature of the texts that create the ESC (Constitution, law, decree, etc.)
A Governance and Functioning Framework, establishing guiding principles for CESALC and rules for its functioning and administration was adopted in 2014


Number of members : 22 participating ESCs from Latin America and the Caribbean
Management organes


Management Committee
The Management Committee is composed by 5 ESCs chosen for a two-year-term.
The Management Committee composed of five councils coordinate the implementation of an agreed Work Plan for the period 2014 – 2016.

General Assembly and Plenary

Annual meeting
An annual meeting is organized by a volunteer ESC gathering the representatives of participating councils.


A member of the Management Committee is selected as coordinator.

Main technical areas of competencies

Social Affairs

The strengthening of dialogue on combating poverty and related issues in Latin America and the Caribbean and the contribution to the formulation of public policies concerning social inclusion and sustainable development were commitments made by the councils, as stated in the Buenos Aires Charter, the final document its Second Meeting. One of the goals of CESALC is to conduct an evaluation/study concerning participation of ESCs on the debate on poverty, to be finalized in 2016.