SICAS President Pro Tempore, Commander Ortega ore in the new SICA Secretary General, Dr Juan Daniel Alemán Gurdián

The President of the Republic of Nicaragua and President Pro Tempore of the Central American Integration System, SICA, Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra, swore in the new Secretary General of the Central American Integration System, Doctor Juan Daniel Alemán Gurdián, at the Presidential House in the Republic of Nicaragua.

The minutes of the inauguration ceremony sets forth "on behalf of the Meeting of Presidents, SICAs highest Organ, I proceed to swear in Dr Juan Daniel Alemán Gurdián, as the new Secretary General of SICA, in accordance with Article 25 of the Tegucigalpa Protocol, so that he may exercise his position for a period of four years starting on February 1, 2009.

"The exercise of this position is a great responsibility for you, since Central America expects to continue consolidating its integration process with the help of all the agencies part of the system".

"I am certain that you will be able to perform your job with dynamism and integrity to benefit the people of Central America who are the true recipients of all our efforts", said the President Pro Tempore of SICA, Commander Ortega.

Following, the new SICA Secretary General, Dr Alemán Gurdián stated:

“I solemnly declare and I commit to exercise the tasks entrusted to me with loyalty, self denial, and total consciousness, as Secretary General at the exclusive service of Central American Integration; to Comply effectively with the responsibilities stated in the Tegucigalpa Protocol, regulate my behavior in accordance with the regional interests of the Central American Community, and therefore, not to request or accept any instruction or mandate regarding my duties from any government , or institution or person or authority other than the Higher Bodies of the Central American Integration System ”.

The outgoing Secretary General was present at the swearing in ceremony, Ambassador Aníbal Quiñónez, who governed the Secretariate and coordinated the System during the last four years.

During the Special Meeting of Heads of State and Governments of the countries Member of the Central American Integration System (SICA) held on January 15, 2009, in the city of Managua, Nicaragua, Dr. Alemán Gurdián was elected as the new SICA Secretary General.

Dr Alemán Gurdián was born in the city of León, in the Republic of Nicaragua, on August 28, 1956, and in November of l973 he moved to the capital city of Guatemala, in the Republic of Guatemala, becoming a Guatemalan citizen.

He married Silvia Elizabeth Cáceres Vettorazzi, a lawyer and Nortary Public of Guatemala and had two children: Juan Daniel, who is now studying law in Guatemala and Pablo Andrés, who is studying agriculture at the Zamorano, in Honduras.

He started his university education at the Rafael Landívar University of Guatemala, graduating in September of l980 in Law, and his graduation theses was titled “Contribution to the Economic and Social Community of Central America” that gave an overview of the Central American Integration, proposing through a legal perspective and the promotion of Central American ideals of solidarity and unity , the creation of regional agri industrial enterprises to solve the demographic problem of El Salvador that represented a difficulty for the progress of integration. Likewise, he outstood as the high yielding student and for his participation as a student leader as Chairman of the Law School Student Association during the period between l978-1979.

In October 1980, he moved to the University of Navarra, Pamplona, in Spain, where he was admitted as a candidate for a PhD in International Law. He fulfilled all the requirements for his Ph.D in European Community Law, Autonomous System, the process of inclusion of Spain into the EC and proposes as his theses the theme of “Central American Common Market: Evolution and Legal and Institutional Restatement”, his work was authorized, and his coach was Professor Dr José Antonio Corriente Córdova with the collaboration of Professor Manuel Medina, who is currently member of the European Parliament. He was examined in July 1983, unanimously obtaining "Outstanding Cum Laude”.

He also participated in several summer seminars in the Schools of London and Niece, on Economic International Order issues, Technology Transfer and the Treatment of Raw Materials.

His professional career started as Manager of the Tax Department of “Peat Marwick & Mitchel” (in Guatemala), a firm with more than 240 domestic and a international customers from various productive sectors. While he developed his managing career he also became professor of the Rafael Landívar University, at the Law School, and taught Public International law and Business Law. He also taught International Economic Law at the Institution of International Affairs of the Francisco Marroquín University of Guatemala, becoming its Director in later years.

In l991, he was appointed Deputy Secretary General of the Central American Economic Integration Secretariat (SIECA), headquartered in Guatemala City, in charge of coordinating the support to cooperation programs with the former European Economic Community (EEC), and also responsible for following up the Trade Negotiations of Central America with the G-3 (México, Colombia and Venezuela), support to the meetings with cooperting countries at the light of the Luxemburg Agreement and the efforts related to the institutional restructuring of the Central American System. He also lectured during the seminar sponsored by the “International Negotiations Applied Study Center” with seat in Geneva, Switzerland, at the Professional Education Program for Central American Officials. He left SIECA to fill the position of Political Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic of Guatemala, and was a major player in the process to consolidate the Tegucigalpa Protocol into the Charter of the Central American States Organization (ODECA), to re adapt it.

In the following months from February to June 1994, he was accepted to exercise as a lawyer and Notary Public in the Republic of Nicaragua.

He moved to San Salvador in 1995 to become an Corporate Attorney at the firm SIGMA/Q, a regional enterprise with more than 17 industrial units based throughout the Central American region and a market leader in packaging. He performed the following duties at this Group: Secretary of the Board of Directors, Member of the Strategic Committee, in charge of following up the negotiations of the firm in the Free Trade Agreements with Mexico, the US, Dominican Republic, Chile, and the Republic of China (Taiwán) and Canada. The legal coordination of tax issues, banking and financial contracts, labor issues, corporate and trade issues, environmental aspects, notary issues, intellectual property and criminal issues. Likewise, he proposed the adoption of a Code of Conduct (Ethics), he instituted and coordinated an International Affairs Committee. His relation with the legal firms throughout the region was also his responsibility and also became the secretary of “Fundación Sigma”.

In the year 2001 he became visiting professor of the Higher Business School of El Salvador (ESEN).

In October 2001, he was granted the Salvadoran nationality by birth. In November 2004 he took the tests to be able to exercise as a Notary Public, and was authorized to exercise as an Attorney and Notary in the Republic of El Salvador.

He has participated actively in non for profit organizations such as: The Chamber of Industry of Guatemala, as an active member of the Strategy Committee for a period of three years, and also at the Education Center TAYASAL in Guatemala, a mid management training school. He was appointed Secretary of the Board of Directors of the National Economic Research Center of Guatemala (CIEN). Founding Member and Full Director of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Legal Studies Commission of the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES), from where he has participated in numerous legal researches through seminars, publications and gestures of persuasion, the strengthening of Central American Integration.

It is also important to highlight his collaboration in specialized articles in various mass media of Guatemala and El Salvador.

He has visited seventy countries, he speaks and reads English and reads French.

On december 13, 1991, the Central American Integration System was created, with the signing of the Protocol to the Central American States Charter, ODECA or the Tegucigalpa Protocol, within the framework of the XI General Meeting of Central American Regional Integration of Heads of State and Government, held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The Central American Integration System, SICA, is the institutional framework for Central American Regional Integration, comprised of the States of the Republics of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panamá. Belize adhered as full member later on. The Domonican Republic participates as Associated State and the United States of Mexico, the Republic of Chile and the Federative Republic of Brazil participate as regional observers; the Republic of China (Taiwán), the kingdom of Spain and the Federal Republic of Germany participate as extra regional observers.

During the XXXIII Meeting of Heads of State and Government of SICA Member Countries, held on December 5, of last year, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the Republic of Argentina was admitted as a SICA Regional Observer Country, and the republic of Italy as an Extra Regional Observer Country, for which instructions were given to the Secretariat General of SICA to formalize both agreements. The SICA Secretary General is headquartered in El Salvador.

SG-SICA, Managua, Nicaragua, January 30, 2009.

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Boletín Informativo de la Secretaría General del SICA