Following President Barack Obama’s March 2011 announcement of the internationally-supported Central America Security Partnership during his visit to Central America, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lead the U.S. delegation to the SICA International Conference of Support for the Central American Security Strategy on June 22, 2011 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Secretary Clinton will be accompanied by Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela and Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William Brownfield. Watch the conference live at http://www.guatemala.gob.gt/.
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The U.S. delegation will also include representatives from the Departments of State, Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security, the National Security Council and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The International Conference seeks to highlight the grave security challenges that Central America is facing, to urge a more robust joint response from Central American governments, civil society and the private sector, and to galvanize international support for their efforts to reduce the high levels of crime and insecurity in the region.
SICA is the Spanish-language acronym for the Central American Integration System. SICA leadership and the seven Central American states (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama) will present a new Central America Security Strategy to the international community at the conference in an effort to attract greater international attention to the security challenges, and seek enhanced levels of political engagement and support from their regional and international partners.
The strategy includes an action plan and portfolio of regional programs, aimed at addressing key security concerns in Central America, including narcotics and arms trafficking, transnational criminal gangs, border security, reintegration and prevention, and law enforcement training.
The United States continues to support Central American efforts to combat insecurity and violence through the Central America Regional Security Initiative. In this context, the U.S. will follow through on the Central America Citizen Security Partnership announced by President Obama this March by outlining a draft action plan designed to implement the Partnership. This draft plan includes programs in all the priority areas identified in the SICA Action Plan.
Among the states and organizations that will attend and assist the Conference are: Colombia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Italy, South Korea, European Union, United Nations (UNDP, UNODC), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the World Bank.