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High-Level meeting to be held in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 5-6 to explore strengthening of democratic systems in Latin America and the Caribbean

More than 65 senior government officials, academic experts, representatives of international institutions, and political leaders will meet in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 5-6 to explore ways to strengthen democratic political systems as a way to achieve sustained and equitable economic and social development.

Chilean President Ricardo Lagos will inaugurate the session at 4 p.m. in the office of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The seminar --supported by the Swedish Fund for Reform of the State, Governance, and Civil Society-- is being organized by the IDB and ECLAC under the auspices of the Ministry of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of Chile.

President Lagos will be followed by presentations by César Gaviria, secretary general of the Organization of American States; IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias; and José A. Ocampo, executive secretary of ECLAC.

The conference will then break up into working sessions for the next day and a half, ending at 6 p.m. on Oct. 6, when Alvaro Garcia, Minister Secretary General of the Presidency of Chile, will deliver closing presentation.

Participants will come from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Sweden, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Governments of the region and international institutions have been placing increasing importance in recent years on the need for strong, effective, democratic political systems and government legitimacy as a basis to carry out political, economic and social policies that lead to sustained equitable growth.

Titled "The Impact of Politics on Development," the seminar will include working sessions on the main political tendencies of the region, the impact of public policy on development, and what international cooperation can do to improve public policy.

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