“Public policies and their challenges for reducing poverty and inequaclity and the Age of Sustainable Development” - Raúl Romero Segura

“Public policies and their challenges for reducing poverty and inequaclity and the Age of Sustainable Development” - Raúl Romero Segura

Very good morning, Dr. Luis Alberto Lacalle, Former President of Uruguay; Senator Iris Martinez;  Deputy José María Abáñez; Ladies and gentlemen participant deputies of this summit; Ladies and gentlemen, invited guests; I want to also greet the President of the College of Lawyers of Guatemala, thank you for your presence; and I want to thank them for the space to be able to tackle such an important issue as the Role of Public Policies not without presenting first an excuse for not bringing a prepared document since I was invited yesterday at noon, but we will share the effort in what’s possible.

Well, I think the Dr. Lacalle touched two fundamental issues; in policy and public management we will always find a dilemma that is raised from the origin of political science and that is what should be done and what is done;  the expectations that the electorate and the population has and the management possibilities that the authorities have at each of the state levels, whether the legislative, the executive or judicial; but today, the new times also pose different scenarios; where it has manifested already, since today, not only the division of powers constitutes the republic’s exercise and the political power; I would say that there is an element that has incorporated and that is fundamental in the public management of our societies; and it is the role of exercising full citizenship; today many of our countries, fundamentally in Latin America, we are witnessing the way population is transcending from being simply a participant of a representative democracy to the exercise of true participatory democracies which means the construction and exercise of full citizenship; where it was well pointed out by Dr. Lacalle ,the citizens have understood that to make democracy, to create a homeland, to do policy and nation goes far beyond the simple fact of...authorities; and today the issue of social auditing, of citizen control, is an element that is transforming our countries, our political structures, and the exercise of power; and I want to tell you, the experience that we have lived in our country of Guatemala, just last year in the month of December, for the first time in the history of our country, we have seen, today, how citizen awakening brought our Vice President and our President to start a legal process that has meant that, today, they are in prison for improper actions due to administrative errors, due to bad intentions, for whatever they want, but the reality is that in Guatemala there is a population that woke up as a result of being fed up and getting tired of the dissatisfaction of the solution of the problems and needs of a people; and today I am convinced that when we are in a summit, that we come to talk about peace processes and an integral peace, we have to understand, how it has happened to us in Guatemala, that a document that constitutes peace agreements from the decade of the 90’s in my country, did not mean the construction of a true peace; because we would not have not lived the events that we have lived only a few months ago; this is and should be nothing more than the beginning of the construction of a national character agenda that defines short, mid, and long term objectives that transcend the temporality of a single government and a single legislature so that they become not only public policies, but I would say, in state commitments that are instruments of administrative, technical, and financial planning that allow the authorities of a country to be able to plan and construct a State vision; to take actions that do not mean that the change of government and authorities is bound to mean the change of course and actions to seek solutions to the problems of a country.

This could very much come to contribute to solving the paradigm that the former president has raised very clearly: how many expectations does the population have? But, how much can the authority do in four or 5 years or six years depending on the period; but if you have public policies, and if you have state commitments, you will have a clear north and a clear way to move independently of the changes of governments and authorities; and I think that can be an important instrument in many of our countries and societies to effectively start looking for and solve the structural problems that have been forgotten for years by many of our politicians and authorities; that is the true construction of peace; the satisfaction of the differences and difficulties that our governments have been unable to satisfy for our populations and the most neglected and marginalized sectors in our countries; that is the true peace; the integral peace that we all must have to understand which means to have education, to have housing, to have access to health, and to have food at the table; to have the possibility to know that our children will receive a service of quality health and education; to know that we will have the possibility of getting a dignified job; that we will have the possibility to go out into the streets and return peacefully to our home; that nothing is going to happen because, today, I have to tell you with great sadness that the only country that I can talk about is the one in which I live, but it is a country where today, Deputies, Mr. President from the college lawyers who accompany us, will not let me lie; it is a country where, until today, to go out on the street can mean not returning home simply for a cell phone or what you carry in your wallet; and that is not living in peace; that is the absence of peace because peace is a concept that must go much further than a national or supranational aspect; peace must be the concept and the way of life that each of us wants to have in our families and in our homes; when we have that individual peace and we build that social peace in our Nations, we can begin to build a supranational peace; but that is precisely the great challenge we must face; today, that is the great challenge that we must have, indistinctly, each one of us in the sector in which we play;  

Today, I am convinced that politicians, that civil society, that environmentalists, have a common denominator, and that is that we understand that we want to live in peace and we want to live better; and if we all contribute in the construction of the conditions that guarantee us that possibility, of that concept of life, I am convinced that we are contributing to the construction, not only of peace in our homes and in our nations, but also a world peace;

Today,  I also want to clarify to the honorable deputy who presented, many thanks; I am President of the Climate Change Commission in Guatemala, for some reason I was commissioned human rights, but I would like to link and take advantage of this space to talk about Climate change adaptation and mitigation; today, we have talked about the issue of climate change in the formulation of environmental policies, we have to understand that this is a theme that contributes to the construction of Peace; I want to tell you that in Guatemala we have seen communities clashing because of water sources; because they do not have an adequate legal regularization of the management and use of the water resource, and many other countries; today, the issue, for example, of extraction of mineral resources has generated social conflicts; today, also the issue of the use and management of solid wastes has also generated dissatisfaction and some clashes between communities; today we have to understand that the issue of adaptation and mitigation of climate change and the formulation of an environmental state policy contributes to democratic governance and the construction of a social peace;

Today, friends, I want to thank the space of this possibility that I received, but I want to make an invitation and a call to awareness of each of us; today, talk about peacebuilding, talk about care for the environment, means the difference between living in a world where we can see ourselves as brothers and as friends, or a world in which we have to see ourselves as competitors and enemies; today, we are at the gates of building a new millennium and concept of life, and I think we have the opportunity, today more than ever, to really do that for many years, for different reasons, our authorities and our politicians could not do, but today we should do what we can as citizens, and it is to be better men and women to build peace in the world and in our homes.

Thank you very much.