Athenaeum was headquarters of the Bicentennial Pact ‘Closing Gaps’

Cooperation and solidarity

In a formal act, held at the City of Knowledge Athenaeum, with the participation of the various sectors of the country, the Bicentennial Pact “Closing Gaps” was formally convened. The purpose of which is to achieve a national agreement on the main issues that afflict the country, including inequality and poverty.

This process differs from other calls for dialogue due to its innovation in the participation of all sectors. And it is that this mechanism of national agreement in its first phase will grant a period of three months for citizen participation through the Ágora digital platform, through which citizens, on their own behalf, of a union, organization or institution, will be able to contribute proposals for solutions on the various issues to be addressed.

The topics to be discussed in this national agreement are: economic recovery and the post-Covid-19 economy; water for human consumption, for food production and for the Canal; sustainable development and the impact of global warming. In addition, the prioritization of the importance of science, technology and innovation in public policies and the development of the country. Quality education, including teacher training and improvement, good internet throughout the national territory, universal health coverage, prioritizing health promotion and disease prevention, as well as food security and institutional strengthening and governance are also part of the themes in this national consensus-building process.

Paulina Franceschi, an expert in public policy and national executive coordinator of the Bicentennial Pact, said that she accepts the challenge “aware of the challenges, but convinced that in these moments after the Covid-19 pandemic, it is necessary to stop, listen to ourselves, think outside of what has been established and agree among all how we are going to reorganize ourselves, if it is possible to unlearn and relearn and, above all, if it is possible to close the gaps, particularly those whose impacts are for life”.

The expert in public policies pointed out that there are several voices that agree on the need for a social pact, to articulate the social contract and regain trust, the ability to collaborate among all sectors of society to recover investment, innovation, productivity, trade, democratic governance and social progress.

For his part, the President of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, explained that the objective of this Pact is “to close the gaps of inequality and poverty; gaps that make Panama the sixth most unequal country in the world; gaps that keep 777 thousand Panamanians in multidimensional poverty; gaps that prevent quality health and education from being the same for all; gaps that force us to include the most vulnerable and marginalized, that force us to go that extra mile ”.

Bicentennial Pact will have five phases

The discussion process for the Bicentennial Pact will have five phases:

1. The first phase consists of consultation through the Ágora virtual platform, where individuals, organizations, unions, institutions and families can contribute proposals for solutions.

2. The second phase includes a classification process for the proposals received. The feasibility will be analyzed scientifically and technically. Proposals will be classified according to their nature and feasibility.

3. The third phase will be the regional consultation of the proposals submitted by the Commission for Classification and Scientific-Technical Viability. Thematic regional commissions will be integrated, according to established criteria, in four regions of the country. The purpose of this process is to consult regionally the priorities and needs that may arise within the various contexts that exist in the country. This regionalization process will help bring the solution closer to the people with their context and reality.

4. In the fourth phase, the proposals that have been prioritized and considered by the Regional Commission will be forwarded to the National Thematic Commissions. There will be a large commission for each topic. Here the coherence between the proposals is integrated and evaluated and the information for the last phase is prepared.

5. In the fifth phase, the national commissions will forward what was approved to the Pact Conciliation and Drafting Commission, which will be in charge of conciliating and drafting the first draft of the Pact, which will be posted on the platform Ágora for 30 days so that everyone can access the proposals. After those 30 days, the commission will proceed to prepare the final version of the Bicentennial Pact.

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