Following is a joint statement of Canada, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, European Union, South Korea, Spain, Mexico, Norway, and the United States.
We, the Group of Friends of the International Conference in Support of the Central American Security Strategy, meeting tomorrow, June 22, 2011, in Guatemala City, express our strong support and recognition to the Member States of the Central American Integration System (SICA) in their fight against organized crime and drug trafficking in the region.
The members of the Group of Friends recognize that confronting the threat of organized crime is a shared responsibility, and commend the leadership and responsibility shown by the Central American governments in formulating and implementing policies to promote security, and urge them to continue their efforts to implement the new Central American Security Strategy, mainly through the regional integration mechanisms, by ensuring adequate financing based on timely fiscal and budgetary policy decisions.
Moreover, the members of the Group of Friends stand willing to fully maximize the effectiveness and sustainability of our contributions, reducing duplication of efforts, generating a more effective impact in support of the Strategy and national efforts by the countries of Central America, and taking steps domestically which help enhance security in Central America.
The members of the Group of Friends will pay special attention to, and collaborate on, programs aimed at increasing Central American countries' capacity in the fight against transnational organized crime; strengthening rule of law institutions, including prosecutors, the judiciary, police, penitentiary, and border security institutions; combating corruption; as well as building SICA's capacity as a key institution for achieving regional security objectives.
Moreover, we recognize the need to act on the underlying causes of crime and insecurity, including poverty and the lack of access to jobs and education by the most vulnerable segments of society.