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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2001 > June
Press Statement
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 7, 2001

Joint Declaration by Central America and US

The Ministers of Foreign Relations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, and the Secretary of State of the United States of America, met on June 7, 2001, in Washington, D.C. in order to discuss their countriesí common agenda and to enhance and deepen, through specific actions, the bonds of genuine friendship and ongoing cooperation that have traditionally existed between their respective peoples and governments.

The meeting provided an opportunity to renew their commitment to democratic values and to upholding, protecting, and promoting human rights.  The Ministers of Central America and the U.S. Secretary of State also reaffirmed their support for the shared goals of economic and social progress for their nations, in accordance with the principles and the objectives of the Alliance for Sustainable Development (ALIDES) and of the Central American-United States of America Joint Accord (CONCAUSA), whereby the United States became the first partner of this important alliance outside the Central American Region.

In that regard, they noted that CONCAUSA reflects their shared vision of comprehensive sustainable development, which brings together all of the various aspects of developmentópolitical, economic, social, and environmentalóinto an interdependent, indivisible strategy.

They underscored that CONCAUSA has fostered cooperation among their governments and has promoted the sustainable development of Central America, along with initiatives such as the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act and joint actions that consolidate the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.  Such initiatives have resulted in benefits for investment, trade, and employment, which in turn strengthen democracy with the tangible advantages of environmentally sound economic and social growth and contribute to the regionís efforts to modernize and transform itself for the twenty-first century.

The Ministers and the Secretary of State emphasized the importance of continued efforts within the framework of CONCAUSA to improve the regionís environmental management, competitiveness in global markets, and protection of its biodiversity.  They stressed the need for intensified efforts to reduce vulnerability from, and mitigate the effects of, natural disasters.  They also emphasized the need for intensified cooperative efforts to address climate change through scientific research, estimating and monitoring greenhouse gases, investing in forestry conservation, enhancing energy efficiency, utilizing new environmental technologies, enhancing capacity to adapt to climate change, and collaborating to better understand its regional impact. 

The Ministers and the Secretary of State of the United States recognized the significant accomplishments that joint actions have produced towards the goals of ALIDES.  Furthermore, they emphasized the importance of continuing to reinforce their efforts, within the framework of CONCAUSA, to strengthen technical and financial cooperation in order to update, intensify, and expand Central American sustainable development objectives in the new international context.

In this regard, they signaled the importance of finalizing work on an updated Plan of Action that will foster sustainable economic development, the promotion of open trade, the conservation and sound use of Central Americaís rich biodiversity, the strengthening of environmental laws and their application and improved energy efficiency and will help reduce the regionís vulnerability to natural disasters and the effects of climate change. 

Released on June 7, 2001

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