Belize has assumed the pro tempore presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA) at the 43rd meeting of the Heads of State and Governments of SICA, held at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
“Already, I think it is clear and a fact that is increasingly recognized by the world at large, that our Central American countries, our SICA countries, punch above their weight. It seems to me that it is indubitable that this SICA movement will grow from strength to strength,” said Prime Minister Dean Barrow, after receiving the baton from Dominican Republic president, Danilo Medina, whom Barrow praised for the work during his presidency from January to June 2014.
“We recognize that there are very many challenges to face, but president Medina has conducted such a successful presidency that I am encouraged, since he has publicly and privately in the exchange of words between us just now, reiterated his commitment to give me his manual for success, and I am greatly comforted that all I have to do is to faithfully follow that manual and I will achieve the same success,” Barrow commented.
During his remarks at the Friday, June 27 handing over, Barrow pledged to accelerate the work begun by Medina in strengthening the partnership with the private sector. He said that two meetings will be held to ensure that the work and the progress made during the exchanges between the parties can be conducted at an accelerated pace.
Due to constraints Belize may face, he said, Costa Rica has offered to assist the country in hosting regional events that may be held during Belize’s presidency, which runs from July 1 to December 31, 2014.
The SICA report on the meeting noted that the member countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá and the Dominican Republic – have pledged their support for Belize, in its leadership role of the regional organization.
Apart from assuming the pro tempore presidency of SICA, Belize also took over the pro tempore presidency of the COMISCA (Consejo de Ministros de Salud de Centroamerica – Council of Central American Ministers of Health), an arm of SICA. On hand for the transferal was Health Minister Pablo Marin, who will hold the office from July to December 2014.
Belize is also assuming the pro tempore presidency of SICA’s Executive Committee. Dominican vice- Foreign Minister, César Dargam, transferred that office to Belize Foreign Affairs CEO Alexis Rosado.
Barrow was also accompanied in the Dominican Republic by Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington.