Bluefields, June 7, (AP)— Secretary of State Colin
Powell met with leaders from seven Central American countries Thursday to
renew their commitment to help the region achieve social, economic and
The delegates signed a revised version of a 7-year-old agreement
designed to enhance regional cooperation on issues ranging from disaster
preparedness to climate change.
Powell told a State Department signing ceremony the 1994 agreement,
known as Concausa, has been a great success in bringing sustainable
development and renewable energy supplies to the region, among other
Accompanying Powell at the ceremony were senior officials from Belize,
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
``A thriving, democratic Central America, a Central America with the
capacity for environmentally sound sustainable growth, is good for all the
states of the region and is good for the United States,'' Powell said.
``When democracy and development go hand in hand, prosperity follows,''
He praised the transformation of the region from a decade ago, when
countries were ``embroiled in brutal internal conflicts with human rights
atrocities on all sides, and democracy was in peril.''
The delegates issued a communique in which they said Concausa reflected
their shared vision of ``comprehensive sustainable development, which
brings together all of the various aspects of development — political,
economic, social and environmental — into an interdependent, indivisible