Lunch with the President of Honduras
In the meeting room of the presidential palace, Mr. Porfirio Lobo Sosa, President of Honduras, hosted a welcome lunch with representatives and partners of the Regional Project Democracy Building in Central America, followed by a day of dialogue and reflection prioritizing on the problems of children in Honduras and Central America.
Shira Leon, Regional Project Coordinator of Building of Democracy in Central America, offered an overview of the project and explained the scope and importance of government involvement in such initiatives. "This is a project in Central America, funded by the European Union and Plan and implemented by local partners with a proven track record in human rights work. We will work with civil society organizations, we will contribute to the strengthening of local governments and of children and adolescents so that they become organized and demand their rights," she said.
Enrique Maldonado, a representative of the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies, emphasized the importance of focused investment by Central American states to improve the well-being of girls and boys.
"The true competitiveness of a country is its people, is a circle, if you invest in education and health, the enhancement levels are for everyone," he said.
Wilmer Vasquez, CEO of COIPRODEN, an implementing partner organization of the project in Honduras, recognized the government for passing laws for Honduran children and simultaneously issued a call for the allocation of budget to fulfill the laws. Also, Monica Darer, Regional Child Rights Specialist, said that violence is one of the biggest concerns that children have and issued an open invitation to the President to exercise Honduras leadership and influence other Central American states to track the World Violence Study.
For his part, the President, welcomed the visit and opened the presidency for future dialogue. He also recognized the importance of the collaborative effort between the State and civil society organizations and reaffirmed the Honduran government’s commitment through the Foreign Ministry of the Republic for the project representatives to have a space at the next meeting of the Central American Integration System (SICA). This would serve as a strategy for Central America's top officials to make children’s rights issues a priority and give it the attention that it requires.