SICA in Brief

The Central American Integration System (SICA) is the institutional framework of Regional Integration in Central America, created by the States of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Subsequently, Belize joined afterwards as a full member; in 2013, The Dominican Republic did likewise. SICA’s General Secretariat headquarters are located in the Republic of El Salvador.

The System includes a group of Regional  and Extra regional Observers. The Regional Observers are: México, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, the United States of America, Ecuador, Uruguay and Colombia. The Extra regional Observers are: China (Taiwan), Spain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia,  South Korea, France, The Holy See, the United Kingdom, the European Union, New Zealand, Morocco, Qatar, Turkey, Order of Malta and Serbia. Presently, Haiti is in the process of incorporation as Regional Observer.

The Central American Integration System was established on December 13, 1991, by the signing of the Protocol to the Charter of the Organization of Central American States (ODECA) or Tegucigalpa Protocol, which amended the Charter of ODECA, signed in Panama on December 12, 1962, and formally came into operation on February 1, 1993.

The SICA initiative was widely supported by the United Nations General Assembly (Resolution A/48 L of December 10, 1993), with the Tegucigalpa Protocol being duly registered with the UN. This allows that it be invoked internationally as it also allows SICA's regional bodies and institutions to interact with the United Nations System.

The System was designed taking into account past attempts for regional unification as well as lessons learned from a history of political crisis, belligerent conflict and dictatorial rule in Central America. These considerations, coupled to internal constitutional transformations and the existence of democratic regimes in the region, were contemplated in establishing the fundamental objective of realizing the integration of Central America in order to transform the area into a region of Peace, Liberty, Democracy and Development, based firmly on the respect, tutelag e and promotion of human rights.

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