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Background

The Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean is a subsidiary body of ECLAC established with the ultimate responsibility for monitoring and reviewing issues relating to population and development, international migration, indigenous peoples and Afro-descendent populations, and ageing. The Conference meets every two years, while its Presiding Officers meet at least once between the ordinary sessions. Mexico currently chairs the Presiding Officers, with Argentina, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Paraguay, Puerto Rico and Uruguay as vice-chairs.

The Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development was adopted at the first session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development, held in Montevideo from 12 to 15 August 2013. The Montevideo Consensus is the most important intergovernmental agreement on population and development ever signed in the region and has become a fundamental part of the review process of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and its follow-up beyond 2014.

At its second session, held from 6 to 9 October 2015 in Mexico City, the Regional Conference adopted the Operational guide for implementation and follow-up of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development, as a voluntary technical tool to support the Latin American and Caribbean countries in the implementation of the priority measures set forth in the Montevideo Consensus. The Operational guide takes into account the synergies with other instruments or international bodies, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition, the Conference decided to establish an ad hoc working group to prepare a proposal of indicators for regional follow-up of the Montevideo Consensus. This group, coordinated by Mexico, presented a progress report at the third meeting of the Presiding Officers, held in Santiago from 4 to 6 October 2016.

In view of the postponement of the third session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean to 2018, the Government of Mexico, in its capacity as Chair of the Regional Conference, decided to convene, instead, a special meeting of the Presiding Officers, which took place in Santiago, from November 7 to 9, 2017.

At the special meeting of the Presiding Officers, the countries adorsed the final report of the ad hoc working group to prepare a proposal of indicators for regional follow-up of the Montevideo Consensus, and welcomed the offer of the Government of Peru to host the third session of the Regional Conference.

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