THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Antigua, Guatemala) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release March 11, 1999
President Clinton Highlights U.S. Support for Regional Cooperation at Antigua Summit
In the context of the Antigua Summit, the Clinton Administration today announced four new initiatives that focus on national and regional efforts to promote democratic transformation in Guatemala and support regional cooperation.
Support for Implementation of the Guatemala Peace Accords
The Clinton Administration will provide an additional $25 million this year to assist in the implementation of the Guatemalan Peace Accords. U.S. assistance will be directed toward the justice sector; scholarships aimed at increasing access to education for disadvantaged students, especially indigenous students; literacy training for rural community members, especially women and youth; citizen participation in local governments; support income generation, such as microenterprise development; developing expertise among legislators and government administrators; and support of implementation of recommendations of the Historical Clarification Commission.
Central American Regional Environmental Initiatives
The Clinton Administration will double the U.S. government's commitment to support Central American regional environmental initiatives through CONCAUSA -- an agreement signed by President Clinton at the Miami Summit in 1994 and which committed the United States to support the Central American Alliance for Sustainable Development. USAID will contribute an additional $25 million over five years to improve forest conservation and costal zone management, mitigate climate change, and reduce industrial pollution.
The additional monies include components on sustainable energy, promotion of the Clean Development Mechanism (an initiative to attract and promote CDM carbon offset projects between developed and developing countries), costal zone management, and environmental protection.
AID and its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance will provide about $11 million over three years through the Center of Coordination for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America (CEPREDENAC) to develop and implement disaster mitigation activities. This will include training by U.S. civilian and military officials in disaster management and response, as well as developing land use priorities and public hazards-awareness campaigns.
Governments in the region have made public commitments in this area a priority, and the U.S. is prepared to help. The Clinton Administration will be providing $8.2 million directed at projects in the region designed to eliminate child labor and help move children from work to school.
USAID and the Department of State will support an OAS pilot program for street children in Central America. AID will provide assistance for education, while the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement will provide assistance to children affected by addictions.