India and Guatemala have agreed to support each other’s candidature for Non-Permanent Membership in the United Nations Security Council. Guatemala will support India’s candidature for UNSC membership for 2021-22 while India will do so for Guatemala for 2031-32.
The decision was one of the many outcomes of the extensive high-level talks that took place between Indian Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, Vice President Dr, Jateth Cabrera Franco and Parliamentary Speaker Alvaro Arzu Escobar in capital Guatemala City on May 7, 2018.
Naidu’s visit is the highest level delegation visit from either side since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1972.
While various issues were discussed at the high-level meet including trade, cultural diversity and economic growth, the main focus was on core sectors such as pharmaceutical, cooperation in education, technology, conservation of wildlife, yoga, tourism and automobiles.
• Leaders of both countries agreed that India and Guatemala are faced with similar challenges including governance issues, terrorism in different forms, poverty and economic disparities and concluded that democracy is the best form of governance to address them.
• Naidu suggested setting up of Parliamentary Friendship group to promote interaction among MPs of both sides.
• During the talks, the Indian side agreed to the Guatemala’s request for supplying solar panels to its airports.
• Naidu also invited Guatemala to join the International Solar Alliance stating it has found wide appeal with 61 countries already joining it.
• Both the sides also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for training of diplomats and a Letter of Intent for training Guatemalan English Teachers in India.
• The agreements will be valid for a period of three years and will be extended thereafter, if required.
Further, Guatemalan Vice President Dr. Franco invited India to send a delegation to the Conference of Ibero America to be held in Guatemala City in November 2018, which will be attended by all the Latin American countries besides Spain and Portugal. This is the first time that India has received such an invitation for the conference that is held once in three years.
• India and Guatemala established diplomatic relations in the late 1970s and since then, the relations have been cordial and friendly.
• The first-ever ministerial visit from India to Guatemala was in June 2007 by the then Minister of State for External Affairs, Anand Sharma.
• Post the visit, both the nations decided to open their embassies in respective countries. The Indian embassy in Guatemala was formally inaugurated in April 2011 by the then Minister of State for External Affairs, E Ahamed.
• The India-SICA (Central American Integration System) Foreign Ministers´ meeting is an important forum for India´s bilateral interaction with Guatemala. The second India-SICA Foreign Ministers´ meeting was held in Delhi in June 2008.
• Set up in 1991, the Central American Integration System (SICA) consists of seven full members -Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama and Dominican Republic as the Associate Member (Total 8).
• India has offered to assist SICA countries in priority areas including agriculture, SMEs, pharmaceuticals, tourism, IT-related activities, renewable energy, disaster management, distant education and supply of satellite imagery for development purposes.
What: Sign agreement