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Belize hosts regional parliamentarians for XIX FOPREL meeting

Belize holds the presidency pro tempore of the Forum of the Presidents of the Legislatures of Central America and the Caribbean (FOPREL), and so Speaker of the House Mrs. Laura Tucker-Longsworth and President of the Senate Hon. Lee Mark Chan presided over FOPREL’s 19th meeting at the Best Western Biltmore Hotel in Belize City from Friday through Sunday, May 12-14.

Belize assumed the presidency in February this year, which it will hold until next year. Longsworth explained that FOPREL comprises of the presidents and vice presidents of parliament of Central America, and has its Secretariat in Nicaragua. Among other issues discussed was the future administration of the forum.

Longworth said she also wished to meet with the President of Nicaragua to clearly define what is the future tenure of the FOPREL secretariat, and to obtain assurances that the forum would be able to continue to operate out of the Secretariat building, which is situated amongst a complex of other government offices, immediately adjacent to a national park, which is a memorial site for Nicaraguan heroes.

The legislators also discussed the future strengthening of the forum. Longsworth explained that a FOPREL sub-committee had met a week ago to discuss the issues of water supply in the region and Climate Change. She said she was also seeking to use the Forum to push for a childhood nutrition framework to be adopted for the region.

Other countries represented included: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela

Taiwan had helped to fund the construction of the Forum’s Secretariat building; and so Taiwan’s ambassador to Belize H.E. Charles K.Y. Liu was an invited observer to the meeting.

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