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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 10, 2008


Second U.S.-SICA Dialogue on Security

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas A. Shannon will lead the U.S. delegation to the second U.S.-SICA[1] Dialogue on Security, December 11 and 12, 2008 in Washington, D.C. The Dialogue will consist of one day of technical talks and one day of vice-ministerial consultations. It will focus on advancing concrete and practical measures to combat the threats of criminal gangs, narco-trafficking and illicit trafficking of arms in Central America. Following the Dialogue, several of the seven SICA member states will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States outlining the provision of e-Trace, an electronic system used to trace illicit firearms.

The first U.S.-SICA Dialogue was held July 17-18, 2007 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The Final Declaration of the first Dialogue pledged concrete and practical efforts to combat criminal activity, emphasized the need for partnership and shared responsibility to address common threats, and provided a roadmap to launch a process to develop common approaches to shared security concerns in the region.

The U.S. delegation will include representatives from the U.S. Department of State; the U.S. Agency for International Development; the Departments of Justice; Defense; and Homeland Security; along with the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Office of National Drug Control Policy; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Customs and Border Protection; and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The following states and organizations will attend as observers and assist the Dialogue in order to contribute to the common security goals in the region: Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE), the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), the Organization of American States/Department of Public Security (OAS/DPS), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank.


1. SICA is the Spanish-language acronym for the Central American Integration System. SICA member states include Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The Dominican Republic is an associate member state and Mexico is an observer state to SICA.

2008/1036


Released on December 10, 2008

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