Belize represented at SICA Summit in Honduras Print E-mail
( 1 Vote )
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 00:00

On the 27 - 29 of June 2012, Senator Hon. Joy Grant, Minister of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities, Margaret Juan, Counsellor, Embassy of Belize in Guatemala, and Richard Vinelli – Charge d’ Affairs, Embassy of Belize in Honduras, represented Belize in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, at the 39th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments of SICA where Heads of State, Technical and Ministerial meetings were held.   

Prior to the 39th Summit of Honduras, SICA President Pro-tempore organized a series of Youth Forums to discuss issues affecting their societies and propose potential solutions.  Belizean students attended workshops and conferences that addressed problems facing society such as regional security, strengthening of democratic institutions, social media and security. The youth forums culminated with a live televised debate between the young people and the Heads of State.  

The 39th Summit commenced with a Technical Meeting on the 27th of June and a Ministerial Meeting on the 28th of June, which culminated with a Heads of State Meeting that focused on matters of Regional Security and outstanding funding pledges to the Central American Security Strategy.  Regional security emerged as a significant concern to member states and as such, international partners will need to provide necessary financial resources and technical assistance to allow members states to effectively address security concerns.

At the meeting, the presidency of SICA was passed to the President of Nicaragua. A Tegucigalpa Declaration and Plan of Action as well as an EU/ Central American Agreement was approved and signed by the Heads of Central American States, and the EU.   The meetings also granted audiences to Roberta Jacobson, Under-Secretary for the Western Hemisphere of the US who commented on “An Alliance for Progress”. The Under-Secretary of State for the US was asked to assure President Obama of their commitment to the security strategy noting also that the region needed funding and assistance.   

During the visit to the Summit in Honduras, Hon. Senator Hon. Joy Grant, had a special meeting with John McCarthy, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Australia where they discussed areas of common interest.  Minister Grant enquired into the possibility of Australia sharing its experiences in the area of science and technology.  Special Envoy McCarthy welcomed the initiative and is committed into exploring the possibility of volunteers to Belize, particularly in the specific area mentioned.  It was also agreed that closer communication with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Australia Regional Office in Trinidad and Tobago be encouraged in regards to scholarship opportunities in Australia for Belizean students. In addition, Belize and Australia both agreed to the possibility for an Australian delegation to visit Belize in the month of September to begin exploring areas of cooperation.