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Jul 4, 2018

Is Six Months Too Short for SICA Presidency?

Orla Cantun-Coleman

Belize last held Presidency Pro Tempore of SICA in 2014.  According to Orla Cantun-Coleman, Director of International Affairs Cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, even with such rotating presidency, host nations often incur serious expenses in carrying out their responsibilities, but the important issue is continuity.

 

Orla Cantun-Coleman, Dir. of Int’l Affairs Cooperation

“One of the immediate, I think and rather evident response to that is really the issue of resources.  When you are the President Pro Tempore for six months, it does incur, it does take some resources.  You have to host all the meetings, you have to host your foreign ministers when they come, you have to host your presidents when they come.  When you have interactions with extra regional partners there’s always a cost.  So I think that one of the main issues here for the relatively short period is cost.  But in addition to that though, to avoid some of the challenges that arise with having to break every six months, that is why the SICA countries decided to have five established pillars so that you will not have a needless interruption or you’ll have a seamless transition from one presidency to the next and the work programme, in a sense, therefore would be fixed.  So for example, what the DR has left on her ended its term on is what we should ideally be picking up on during our six months presidency.  So it’s way to ensure that there’s consistency, continuity, but also to alleviate some of the costs that come with having to host.”

 

In December 2018, the Presidency Pro Tempore of SICA will be handed over to the Government of Guatemala.

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