Posted: Thursday, June 29, 2017. 5:55 p.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: According to a Government of Belize press release, Belize attended the XLIX Summit of Heads of Government and State of the Central American Integration System (SICA) in Costa Rica from June 28th-30th, 2017.
The release says that Central American leaders met to discuss regional cooperation, security, and the continued strengthening of regional integration.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington represented Belize along with H.E. Alexis Rosado and Minister Counsellor Margaret Juan.
At the event, Elrington congratulated the Government and people of Costa Rica for their leadership and welcomed the discussions and commitments made to regional integration, particularly in the area of security.
The Foreign Minister also expressed concern that extra-regional challenges, such as the continued conflict in the Middle East and the recent United States policies on immigration and climate change, will have adverse effects on member states.
Elrington urged the region to address issues such as the widening poverty gap, employment opportunities and technological advances and urged the region to use its influence to reach out to the Venezuelan Government and opposition to find a solution to the internal challenges it faces.
Heads welcomed the continued cooperation between member states and donor countries in the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking, and urged SICA member states to continue working together to strengthen the capacities of member states to confront violence.
Heads also elected former Guatemalan President Mr. Marco Vinicio Cerezo as the new Secretary General of SICA, and Honduran national Mr. Melvin Redondo as the new Secretary General of the Secretariat of the Central American Economic Integration (SIECA).
Outgoing Secretary General Victoria Avilez thanked the region for their continued support and guidance during her tenure at the SICA Secretariat and welcomed the appointment of Mr. Cerezo, whose leadership of the Esquipulas Foundation and commitment to Central American integration will serve to address the needs and challenges of the region.
The Presidency Pro Tempore of SICA will be assumed by Panama for the period July to December 2017.
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