Belize City: Thursday 20th December 2018
At the LII Summit of the Heads of State for the Sistema de Integracion Centro Americana (SICA) held last Friday at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel, Belize officially handed over the Presidency Pro Tempore to Guatemala. The Summit was chaired by outgoing President Pro Tempore of SICA, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and had the participation of Presidents from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Foreign Affairs Ministers from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.
The agenda focused on topics aimed on fostering better inter-relationships with member states and economic development.
In his opening speech, the outgoing President Pro Tempore, PM Barrow highlighted the current challenges of climate change, migration, crime and violence affecting the region. “Migration is a big issue, as is climate change. There is also the whole question in trying to improve the machinery to make the concept of integration more effective, to improve the functions of the Secretariat in a more efficient so that member countries can point to tangible achievements,” he said in an interview.
He stated that “poverty and inequality remain at the centre of these challenges, affirming that during the last six months of Belize’s Presidency Pro-Tempore (PPT) renewed focus on the economic development of member states in agriculture, health, and energy to ensure the inclusion of women, youth, and indigenous people.
The closed meeting ended with the handing over of SICA’S Presidency Pro Tempore, which was accepted by H.E. Jimmy Morales, President of the Republic of Guatemala. Moralez will hold the Presidency for six months where he will in effect hand it over to another
member state. During his tenure, Morales must focus and promote the five pillars of SICA integration; Economic Integration, Social Integration, Climate Change, and Integrated Risk Management, Democratic Security and Institutional Strengthening.