New country agenda: Various social actors advocate structural changes in Chile

January 24, 2020
Communications Colunga Foundation

Government authorities, NGOs, social leaders, trade unions, representatives of the academy and municipalities, met last Thursday, January 9, invited by Fundación Superación de la Pobreza, to discuss and think together about structural changes for a new, fairer Chile and equitable, in a seminar entitled: “Challenges and perspectives of the new country agenda”.

Photography: Representatives of various organizations that participated in the panel. Source: http://www.superacionpobreza.cl/seminario-desafios-nueva-agenda-pais/

What are we willing to do and yield, to establish a new coexistence pact, which includes all citizens?

With this question, Andrea Repetto, President of the Foundation for Overcoming Poverty, opened the meeting, highlighting the advances in Chile during the last decades, such as the recovery of democracy; sustained economic growth; the reduction of poverty by income; and the expansion of access to higher education. However, he added that this has not been enough: “Social mobility is limited and the feeling of abuse and privileges tarnishes the idea of a meritocratic society that rewards the effort”, he pointed.

Photography: Andrea Repetto, President of the Poverty Overcoming Foundation. Source: http://www.superacionpobreza.cl/seminario-desafios-nueva-agenda-pais/

Challenges in equity and social integration

From the Government, the Undersecretary of Social Evaluation, Alejandra Candia, acknowledged that it is a duty of the State to start looking at the reality hidden by the poverty averages, admitting that there are still 3.5 million people in multidimensional poverty, 5 million people who have not completed secondary education and more than 70 thousand children who are not attending the educational system, among other figures provided. Therefore, he noted that it is important to strengthen partnerships: “The State cannot be alone. We need a partnership with the academy and civil society ”he admitted.

Photography: Alejandra Candia, Undersecretary of Social Evaluation. Source: http://www.superacionpobreza.cl/seminario-desafios-nueva-agenda-pais/

Meanwhile, Rodrigo Jordán, President of the Community of Solidarity Organizations and part of the Colunga Network, he said that there are four fundamental pillars for solving the crisis: a culture of respect for Human Rights, a robust social agenda, the New Constitution process and a pact for a new social treatment. In addition, he proposed: “Discussion spaces should be financed throughout the country that take into account the constituent process”.

Photography: Rodrigo Jordán, President of the Community of Solidarity Organizations. Source: http://www.superacionpobreza.cl/seminario-desafios-nueva-agenda-pais/

Sadi Melo, mayor of El Bosque and vice president of the Chilean Association of Municipalities, said: “Chile today needs answers to the life expectations of its people”, also highlighting the importance of citizen dialogue at this time.

For her part, the Executive Director of the Fiscal Observatory Foundation, Jeannette Von Wolffersdorff, explained that there is a feeling that economic growth has not permeated the entire society. Therefore, he pointed out the importance of making a deep reform of public spending. "If we do not see that structural changes are being conducted, there can be a lot of frustration", he warned, noting that inequality has its deep and structural roots in the economy. “When a market works, there should be social mobility and reward talent (…) Our market in Chile is characterized by low economic complexity, high concentration and little innovation”he indicated.

The participants agreed that the themes urgently demanded by Chilean society are for a New Constitution, timely access to health, education, decent pensions, salaries and a better distribution of wealth.

You can see the full seminar on this link

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