The secretary general of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, considered that Central America should be an absolute priority for international cooperation due to the effects of climate change in the region, recently hit by two hurricanes.
António Guterres participated in a virtual and private meeting with most of the presidents of the countries that make up the Central American Integration System (SICA).
"I have no doubt that Central America should today be an absolute priority in the framework of international cooperation", together with the Caribbean and Pacific islands, "which face an existential threat from climate change," said Guterres, according to a statement of SICA.
The organization added that the leaders of Central America and the Dominican Republic raised the issue of "impacts caused by climate change in the region and agreed with the need to recognize it as one of the most vulnerable geographical areas in the world".
The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, recommended at the conference that SICA declare giving priority to “the crisis of inequality, the economic crisis and the environmental crisis”.
"The serious crisis we are facing is an opportunity as a region to put aside many of our differences and unite with common goals, and serve our populations and especially the most vulnerable," he said.
The President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, said he had previously spoken with Guterres about the possibility of recognizing the country and the rest of Central America "as one of the regions of the world most affected by climate change".
Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, who holds the temporary presidency of SICA, said that "the great battle that has to do with the destruction of life on the planet" is climate change.
This is the first time that the UN has engaged in direct dialogue with SICA since its founding in December 1991, according to the Central American body.
The meeting was also attended by the President of Guatemala and the Prime Minister of Belize, Alejandro Giammattei and John Briceño, respectively, as well as the Vice President of El Salvador, Félix Ulloa.
Also present in the videoconference were the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader; the general secretary of SICA, Vinicio Cerezo, and the executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Alicia Bárcena.
Central America was recently hit by hurricanes Eta and Iota, which affected more than 3,5 million people in Honduras alone, while in Nicaragua, according to authorities, caused losses of $ 742 million (620 million euros), or 5,9 , XNUMX% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).