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Dec 14, 2018

Belize Hands Over SICA Presidency Pro-Temp to Guatemala

Belize handed over the Presidency Pro-tempore of the Central American Integrated System, SICA, today to Guatemala, ending a six-month rotation of the presidency. The fifty-second meeting of the Heads of State of SICA took place at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. At least four presidents traveled to Belize for the event. For six months, Belize held meetings including sectors of agriculture, tourism, health and trade and in the closing event; the region’s leaders discussed progress made in the number of areas that connect the integration movement. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Belize played host today to diplomatic officials of all seven Central American countries and the Dominican Republic for the fifty-second SICA summit. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, chairing the presidential conference, greeted his colleagues including Guatemala’s President, Jimmy Morales before the start of the high-profile summit. Belize’s diplomats such as Foreign Affairs C.E.O., Pat Andrews, Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico Oliver Del Cid, Belize’s Ambassador to the OAS, Nestor Mendez, Ambassador to the US, Daniel Gutierrez and Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, Alexis Rosado flanked Prime Minister Barrow as he sat next to SICA’s Secretary General Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arevalo. The atmosphere was pleasant and cordial among the region’s leaders. Belize was at the helm of the Central American Integrated System, SICA, after it assumed the Presidency Pro Tempore from the Dominican Republic on June thirtieth.  Over the course of six months, Belize aimed to achieve several objectives which can only be tackled by regional corporation and collaboration.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“This is not withstanding differentiation of impacts at the individual levels. Put another way, ultimately we all hang together or we hang separately.”


According to Barrow, this reality gives even greater urgency to the pace at which the countries must integrate in order to address several regional issues.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Migration was a big one and climate change was another big one and then the whole question in trying to improve the machinery so as to make the notion of integration more effective, have the secretariat function in a way that’s efficient and can get things done so that the countries are able to point to tangible achievements.”


Guatemala now takes over the Pro-tempore Presidency of SICA for the next six months. President Morales says that Guatemala will focus on five key areas.


Jimmy Morales

Jimmy Morales, President of Guatemala [Translated]

“One, special attention to the issue of irregular migration. Two, a stronger articulation to consolidate the economic integration of the region. Three, the facilitation of new opportunities for local development based on investment and employment generation. Four, an effective customs unit that generates more competitiveness and economic dynamism. And finally, five, to promote the new model of democratic security to face trans-national threats.”


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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