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  • President Tsai meets Secretary General Velasquez de Aviles of Central American Integration System
  • Date
President Tsai shakes hands with Secretary General Velasquez de Aviles of Central American Integration System. (01) President Tsai exchanges views with Secretary General Velasquez de Aviles of Central American Integration System. (02)
On the afternoon of December 1, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by Secretary General Victoria Marina Velasquez de Aviles of the Central American Integration System (SICA). The president, on behalf of the government and people of the ROC, expressed a cordial welcome and deep appreciation to the visitors on their trip to Taiwan.

President Tsai started her remarks by enthusiastically welcoming Secretary General Velasquez de Aviles and her delegation to Taiwan. Noting that the secretary general is busily preparing for a summit meeting of Central American heads of state in mid-December, the president said it was especially moving that the secretary general took time out of her schedule to visit under such circumstances. This is a clear demonstration, she said, that SICA attaches great importance to Taiwan.

President Tsai stated that the SICA Secretariat has focused very successfully on five key undertakings since Ms. Velasquez de Aviles took over as secretary general in 2014, as follows: democratic security; economic integration; social integration; comprehensive disaster risk management and climate change; and strengthening of regional institutions. Moreover, these are precisely the big issues that Taiwan is actively dealing with. People across the globe are now facing similar problems, so hopefully, said the president, we can share our respective experiences to develop effective responses.

Commenting on relations between Taiwan and SICA, President Tsai noted that SICA was established in 1991, while Taiwan and its Central American diplomatic allies held their first Meeting of the Joint Commission of Cooperation between Countries of the Isthmus of Central America and the Republic of China (Taiwan), then in 2002 Taiwan became the first country from outside the Central American region to gain formal observer status at SICA. Taiwan and SICA have cooperated closely for the past 24 years. The aforementioned Meeting has been held 16 times in an effort to improve the state of diplomacy, education, agriculture, fisheries, environmental protection, small and medium businesses, and women's rights in the countries of Central America, and also to promote the SICA agenda.

President Tsai noted, for example, that a project with Taiwan carried out by the Central America Fisheries and Aquaculture Organization (OSPESCA) won an award in 2013 from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

President Tsai emphasized that Taiwan will continue to cooperate closely with SICA. She also expressed hope that Taiwan, Central American countries and SICA will continue to strongly support one another in the international community.
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