El Salvador – On 16 December, Central American Heads of State and Government held the XXXVIII Regular Meeting in San Salvador, El Salvador, where they reaffirmed their commitment to advance regional integration and jointly seek to address the serious problems affecting the region. In this sense, participants expressed their determination to continue working together to implement the Security Strategy.

In the Declaration and Work Plan signed in San Salvador, the Heads of State and Government urged the General Secretariat of SICA to continue negotiations with the “Group of Friends” and international organizations to begin implementing the projects identified as priority, including, inter alia, gun control and armed violence prevention. In this sense, the Work Plan proposes the development of a roadmap that clearly and precisely identifies the steps to follow to achieve full implementation of the Strategy.

The 2012 Work Plan also establishes the creation of a Financial Management Mechanism that guarantees the identification of funds and their proper distribution. The Coordinating Evaluation and Monitoring Mechanism of the Security Strategy will remain in charge of general coordination.

UNLIREC, one of the international organizations present at the International Conference, expressed its support to SICA’s the General Secretariat in achieving prompt and effective implementation of the Strategy. In this context, and in response to requests received from Central American States, UNLIREC has developed a sub-regional assistance package focusing on arms control and the prevention of illicit trafficking. Some countries, such as Germany and Australia, have already expressed their interest in the proposal. The implementation of which would be coordinated by the Central American authorities.

The Central American Security Strategy has four main themes: combating crime; violence prevention; prison rehabilitation, reintegration and security; and institutional strengthening, all coordinated in a comprehensive manner to better address the problem of armed violence facing the sub-region. The Security Strategy was adopted by the Heads of State and Government of SICA in 2007, which was re-vitalized following the International Conference in Support of the Strategy held in Guatemala in June, which included a large representation of states and international organizations.