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Ecuador’s Ambassador to the United States Nathalie Cely addressed a full auditorium of students and faculty at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) on the subject of “Ecuador’s Inclusive and Sustainable Development Agenda Post-2015”. The event was organized by UMASS’s School for Global Inclusion and Social Development and the McCormick Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.

Ambassador Cely, who was introduced by Dr. William Kiernan, Dean of the School of Global Inclusion and Social Development, discussed the progress that Ecuador has made in the last eight years during the government of President Rafael Correa in reducing poverty and inequality and the inclusion of marginalized sectors of society. She also stressed that one of Ecuador’s strategies to reduce poverty and improve salaries goes beyond economic growth and the creation of better jobs—it has required the redistribution of social policies.

“In my country Ecuador, we have implemented an inclusive and sustainable development model that we call ‘good living’, based on the ancestral Quechua philosophy of balancing the satisfaction of our needs with nature. ‘Good living’ has the well-being and the human rights of our citizens at its core. Every single one of our policies is in line with this goal,” said Ambassador Cely. “There have been challenges. We implemented reforms to make sure that our exploration of natural resources was done with the highest environmental standards and maximized revenues for our citizens, while at the same time remaining competitive for Foreign Direct Investment—the balance was not easy.”

The Ambassador also discussed Ecuador’s efforts to transform its production matrix in order to make it greener and more knowledge-intensive, and to address the need to attract responsible foreign direct investment along with diversifying its economy.

Following her address, Ambassador Cely had the opportunity to answer questions from the students, who showed a keen interest in learning more about Ecuador’s investment, education, and technology sectors.