Presidents Alvaro Colom of Guatemala and Porfirio Lobo Sosa of Honduras were both in Belize on Friday for the Central American Summit of the Integration Movement. While in San Pedro on a five hour visit, the presidents spoke exclusively to this station in the margins of the SICA summit. News Five’s Delahnie Bain has that report.
Delahnie Bain, Reporting
The pro-tempore leadership of the Central American Integration System (SICA) transitioned to Guatemala with last Friday’s summit in San Pedro. Taking the reins is President, Alvaro Colom, who says the territorial dispute with Belize is top on his agenda.
Alvaro Colom, President of Guatemala
“I think today we made an evolution towards a more solid, complete and integral integration. I think there is great willingness among states, although we all have problems among ourselves. But the most important thing is for the Central American spirit to strengthen.”
“Taking up the presidency next semester for SICA, what are your primary objectives?”
“I believe that firstly, one of the important issues is to continue to push the resolution of the problems between ourselves. Secondly, strengthen the instructions of the Central American issues and thirdly not to abandon the process, which I think is the most important, continue to strengthen.”
Another president who flew in for the summit was Porfirio Lobo Sosa of Honduras. He was elected following a coup de tat, ousting former president Manuel Zelaya last June. Sosa says the transition is going well.
Porfirio Lobo sosa
Porfirio Lobo Sosa, President of Honduras
“In Honduras we have a strong and firm process of national reconciliation. We began the national dialogue. We have complied with the mandate of this government. We are following the road of having consultations with the different organizations of the society for us to balance what are the measures for the rights of democracy, not only representation wise, but also participatory. We a looking to be able to have a large assembly by mid next year where we have representatives from all those organizations that through the election process do not have representation.”
OAS Secretary General, Jose Manuel Insulza, was also on hand for the event and gave an update on the status of the Belize/Guatemala land dispute going to the ICJ.
Jose Manuel Insulza, Secretary General, OAS
Jose Manuel Insulza
“I think that everything is going fine. We’re just waiting for the congress of Belize to take the matter to court and then the countries will have to agree to call referendums in each country to approve that. Guatemala already approved that in congress so we’re awaiting the Belize decision and then we’re hoping that the countries will call the referendums as soon as possible and then we go to court. But everything is going well I think. My role is just to be a facilitator. I’ve made my suggestion and I assume that this is going to court, I hope, next year or 2012. And then we’ll have to wait for three more years or three or four years, which is usually the time that the court in the Hague takes. And that should settle the matter. They will make a decision on the presentations that the countries make and draw the border where they think that it is according to international law.”
The overall atmosphere of the summit was for the further strengthening of institutions that prevail in Central American countries including security arrangements. Delahnie Bain for News Five.