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Jul 18, 2018

SICA Members Discuss Way Forward Under Belize’s Presidency

Two weeks ago, Belize took over the Pro-Temp Presidency of the Central American Integrated System for the next six months. Between now and December, Belize plans to advance issues of social integration, and inter-regional trade and investment which are critical issues for SICA member countries. As the link between the two sub-regions, Belize will also focus on fostering cooperation between CARICOM and SICA in areas such as regional security. During day-two of a conference today, Belize’s six-month plan was shared with SICA representatives. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

In day two of the SICA Summit, Government officials and representatives of SICA sub-commissions and secretariats endorsed a work programme that has been developed for the next six months of the presidency.  Director of International Affairs for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Orla Cantun-Coleman, says the programme will remain in line with SICA’s five pillars: Democratic Security, Economic Integration, Social Integration, Integrated Risk Management and Climate Change and Institutional Strengthening.


Orla Cantun-Coleman

Orla Cantun-Coleman, Director of International Affairs, M.F.A.

“We also looked at what the D.R. did during its Presidency. Of course six months is a relatively short period of time so some of the activities they set in motion that we will be implementing during our term. Also there were some activities that we came up with that we want to push for this six months.”


Under Belize’s Presidency, there will also be a concerted effort to focus on regional security for SICA and CARICOM member states.


Orla Cantun-Coleman

“The whole thing is premised on the fact that security is a concern for both sub-regions. So by putting the energies and resources and the efforts of the two sub-regions then hopefully we can come up with practical plans and measures to help reducing some of the incidences of crime and violence within the two sub-regions.”


For the next six months, efforts will also be made to identify areas where CARICOM and SICA can further strengthen the cooperation.


Orla Cantun-Coleman

“For example we want to have our CARICOM SICA meeting of Foreign Ministers where we will look at regional and international areas where we have common ground. We will also seek to strengthen the cooperation within the two sub-regions. There is also the SICA institutions themselves that have a build in work programme. We will be carrying forward a lot of those as well. At the end of the day you have a very comprehensive work program for the six months.”


In December Belize will be handing over the Presidency to the Guatemalan Government. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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