Photo: UN Sec Ban Ki-Moon in Central America
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced a $10 million contribution from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund to support efforts to entrench the respect of human rights and strengthen the security and justice systems in Guatemala.
The Fund was set up in 2006 to support efforts to augment peace and stability in countries emerging from conflict.
‘We are all aware of how hard Guatemala has worked in pursuit of lasting peace and full implementation of the Peace Accords signed 15 years ago,” said Mr. Ban. “We are here today to seize this momentum and bolster the country’s peacebuilding efforts,” he said, adding that the country’s civil society must be an active participant in the process.
Mr. Ban also met with the leaders of many Central American States – Costa Rica, Belize, El Salvador, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Honduras – while in Guatemala, during which he briefed them on the unfolding events in the Middle East and North Africa, especially Libya.
The meeting between Mr. Ban and the regional leaders also dwelt at length on how Central American governments are working to consolidate democracy and the challenges of tackling organized crime and impunity.
He said the UN initiative against impunity in Guatemala had generated considerable interest from other countries which are considering adopting the model.
They also discussed the challenges of poverty and inequality, and touched on how fiscal reform and increased investment in State services can help improve people’s standard of living.
The issue of climate change and sustainable development also came up, with the Secretary-General stressing that each country needs national prevention and preparedness strategies to cope with the inevitable impact, taking into account the region’s vulnerability to hurricanes.
The Secretary-General held bilateral meetings with the President of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo; the Vice-President of the Dominican Republic, Rafael Alburquerque de Castro; the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow; and the Foreign Minister of El Salvador, Hugo Martínez Bonilla.