On the eve of the new millennium, ECLAC recommends equality as the main axis for guiding development: the reduction of inequality in its multiple dimensions --social, economic, cultural, political, technological, territorial--, the enforcement of economic, social, and cultural rights, and the guarantee of the rights of the population as a non-delegable responsibility of the State. In September of the same year, the 189 Member States of the United Nations signed the Millennium Declaration, a road map of eight Millennium Development Goals, which represented a commitment by all nations to reduce poverty, hunger, disease, and gender inequality; address the lack of education, and the lack of access to water and sanitation; and to halt environmental degradation.
ILPES accompanied the countries of the region in the transition from economic planning to planning for sustainable development, incorporating techniques for a modernization of the State and for public policy planning with equality as its foundation. The Institute's substantive areas evolved accordingly: a strategic approach to public sector management and budgetary policies, a strengthening of public investment systems and public policy evaluation, and the management of local and regional development, all in pursuit of a more efficient, proactive, and effective State, with citizens at the centre of its actions.
Towards the end of the period, despite favourable regional progress in growth, employment, and poverty and inequality reduction, and in a context of a consolidation of democratic institutions, increased public revenues and spending, and strengthened public management capacity, development gaps remained considerable region wide. At this juncture, ECLAC advocated a new equation between the State, the market and society to transform the progress made in the countries into a lasting process of inclusive sustainable development with equality at the centre of public policy design. To achieve this, the planning exercise was repositioned to guide and formulate State policies that would have long-term horizons and would be built in a participatory manner around a common development agenda. ILPES actively participated in supporting these processes through studies, advisory services, training activities and the creation of a repository of development plans for all Latin American and Caribbean countries.