Finland is engaged with the SICA (Sistema de la integración centroamericana, Central American Integration System) countries in Central America in ongoing dialogues on the eradication of poverty. This is one of the central themes in Finland’s regional development cooperation.
This cooperation follows a SICA – Nordic countries meeting hosted by Finland in New York during the 2011 UN General Assembly. Foreign Ministers of Central American countries attended the meeting, at which the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Erkki Tuomioja, represented the host country, Finland. State officials from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, and Panama, as well as all the Nordic countries, were present at the meeting.
Additionally, Finland has been involved in cooperation between SICA and the Nordic countries in the SICA Energy and Environmental Partnership, funded by Finland, Austria, and the EU.
Finland also participates in SICA-Nordic dialogues seeking solutions to the challenges posed by climate change and economic integration, in addition to the social agendas of social inclusion and the eradication of poverty. These dialogues were initiated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, Hugo Martinez, at the meeting in August. Building institutions related to these challenges are also discussed.
The New York meeting also resulted in an agreement between the SICA and Nordic countries that they should have conferences annually during the United Nations General Assembly sessions.