IFLA is encouraging the library community across the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region to share their views on a draft declaration on libraries, access to information and development. This, the result of close collaboration between IFLA and the Hernán Santa Cruz Library of the UN Economic Commission for LAC, aims to send a strong, unified message to ministers in 2019.

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda has a strong regional dimension. Countries work together at this level to find solutions to shared development challenges, supported by the UN’s own regional commissions.

Latin America and the Caribbean is no exception, with the UN Economic Commission for LAC (ECLAC, or CEPAL in Spanish) hosting the Second Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development on 18-20 April in Santiago, Chile.

IFLA organised a side-event there, in collaboration with the ECLAC library, focusing on the important of access to information for development, and how libraries could deliver this. Participants discussed what libraries can offer to the region, and explored the idea of a draft declaration, developed thanks to the hard work of the ECLAC Library and Adriana Cybele Ferrari (IFLA IAP Participant and FEBAB President).

The declaration, following the success of the 2014 Lyon Declaration, and the 2015 Cape Town Declaration, sets out the importance of access and the role of libraries in providing this. In doing so, it provides a single text, drafted by libraries in the region, for the region, bringing IFLA’s global messages to the regional level.

The Declaration, once completed, will provide a reference point for libraries and friends of libraries across the region in their advocacy. With enough support, it will send a message to governments, regionally and globally, of our institutions’ commitment to development, and of what is needed to deliver it.

IFLA therefore welcomes feedback on the draft, available on the ECLAC library website (English, Spanish, Portuguese) with instructions on how to do this, with a deadline of 1 August 2018.