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Jan 19, 2023

Belize Zeroes in on Migration, Food Security & Climate Change

Eamon Courtenay

Belize assumed the presidency of SICA from the Dominican Republic on January first, and there are several issues that Belize intends to zero in on during its six-month term. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Courtenay shared that those include migration, food security and climate change.


Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“SICA is important for us, not only to manage migration flows – legal and illegal – to cooperate on climate change to try to look for trade opportunities for Belizean products and for products from Central America to continue to move within the region. Therefore these issues, we want to concentrate on them, bring them to the fore. We expect to have a summit of the heads of government of SICA and also we are thinking of trying to bring CARICOM together. That’s another possibility, to have them come together again to see where we can have synergies and advance the two sub-regions together. 2023 is another important year for us. We have another COP meeting – COP 28 and the region has to prepare for that. The question of migration, we are seeing an increased number of persons coming through Belize, which means they are coming through Central America, and we are aware what the causes are. We have to work more on solutions because it does not only violate our territorial integrity and sovereignty when these people come in but there are many security risks which arise as a result of the migration flows. We also believe that it’s important to have a drawing closer of the SICA organization. People might not be aware but for reasons which I don’t need to go into, we didn’t have a secretary general for about two years. We have a secretary general now. He’s been in office for a few months and therefore there’s a lot more dynamism and energy back at the secretariat because there is good leadership.”


Courtenay said that the Ministries of Foreign Trade and Agriculture have been working together for a while on some of the Belizean-made products that we want to put on the SICA market. He indicated that our discussions with Guatemala are well advanced and Belize would like to further discussions with that neighbour on quotas, tariffs and other issues on some of our exports, such as shrimp and grains to that country.

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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