Above: Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla
Costa Rica has officially assumed the rotating presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla assumed the presidency from outgoing CELAC President Raul Castro of Cuba.
“I do so with great enthusiasm on behalf of the government and people of Costa Rica,” she said in an address to CELAC in Havana this week. “I do it with a profound Caribbean and Latin American commitment, knowing that, for a year, we will be a catalyst for the best interests shared by our peoples.”
She said CELAC was in a “process of development,” urging results.
But she also called for greater intra-regional cooperation utilizing existing regional groupings, pointing to the contributions of institutions like IDB , CARICOM, the OAS and others.
“We need more organic coordination between [the regional bodies], in areas as diverse as trade, health, education, investment, infrastructure, environment, justice, science and technology, the fight against corruption and organized crime,” she said. “It is they who have the capacity to implement projects and evaluate results.”