SANTO DOMINGO – Officials and experts from Central American Integration System (SICA) member states advocated on Wednesday for a larger investment in “social protection” to fight the region’s poverty levels as part of the Social Innovation forum taking place in the Dominican resort town of Punta Cana.
“We must go from a welfare system to a social rights protection system,” said Dominican Vice President Margarita Cedeño.
“We will all commit to making the decisions (necessary) to implement the social policies on which we need to move forward,” said SICA Secretary-General and former Guatemalan President Vinicio Cerezo.
“This is a great opportunity to reflect upon institutional, social and productive innovation,” UN FAO Sub-Regional Coordinator for Mesoamerica Tito Diaz said, adding that such actions will change the lives of the more than 57 million residents of the region.
The event was also attended by Salvadoran Social Inclusion Secretary Vanda Pignato, as well as by Nicaraguan Policy and International Affairs Minister-Counsellor Sidhartha Marin, Costa Rican Human Development and Social Inclusion Minister Emilio Arias and Belizean Human Development and Social Transformation Vice Minister Judith Alpuche.
The Dominican Republic occupies the rotating presidency of SICA from January to June 2018.
SICA was created in 1991 and is comprised of the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Panama.