Panama Participates in LXI Meeting of Central American Security Commission
By Rodulfo Barrios, Panamanian Ministry of Security February 16, 2017Deputy Minister of Public Security, Jonattan Del Rosario, accompanied by representatives from the Foreign Relations Office and the security sectors, participated in the LXI general meeting of the Central American Security Commission on February 9th, held under Costa Rica’s rotating presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA, per its Spanish acronym). In his address to the commission, Deputy Minister Rosario reaffirmed Panama’s commitment under President Juan Carlos Varela to support regional efforts in the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime and to continue working out new agreements and developing new platforms for exchanging security and intelligence information and migration alerts as a priority issue. Within the context of this high-level meeting, delegates from SICA member states received reports on the efforts that the four subcommittees of the Central American Security Commission have made in the areas of public safety, violence prevention, legal issues, and defense matters. Progress has been made on revising the public safety mandates that have come out of the heads of state summits among SICA nations, which are pending implementation, as well as on the joint drafting of the Project to Strengthen Criminal Investigations, which will be presented to the European Union for review as part of the 2014-2020 regional cooperation program. In addition, the master document outlining the logical framework and road map for technical assistance to bolster social rehabilitation programs for adolescents and young adults through the criminal code in SICA member countries was approved. The security commission accepted the road map for developing the Multi-sectorial Regional Plan against Organized Crime, which will begin with a fact-finding process and will end with a draft plan in the first half of 2017. The head of the Panamanian delegation thanked Costa Rica for the forum it provided during its rotating presidency for coordinating with Panama to develop a working agenda aimed at ensuring a proper follow-through on these efforts when it is Panama’s turn to assume the rotating presidency of SICA in the second half of 2017. Deputy Minister Del Rosario took the opportunity to make an announcement about the preparations for World Youth Day, which will be held in Panama in 2019. Panama will give periodic updates to the Central American Security Commission about the planning for the event from a security and migration standpoint, in order to ensure that it is a success for the entire region. The Central American Security Commission is made up of deputy foreign relations ministers and deputy ministers of security from SICA member states. The commission was created by the Framework Treaty on Democratic Security in Central America, signed in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on December 15, 1995. Said treaty instituted the Central American Democratic Security Model, which is based on democracy, the strengthening of democratic institutions, the rule of law, and the existence of governments elected through universal suffrage, with free and secret voting and unlimited respect for human rights in the nations of Central America.