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August 18, 2021
ParlAmericas hosts an inter-parliamentary dialogue to commemorate 60 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and Central American countries

Today, the ParlAmericas International Secretariat and the ParlAmericas Canadian Section convened parliamentarians and ambassadors from Canada and Central America to reflect on the last 60 years of regional multilateralism and to identify opportunities for increased collaboration. The dialogue underscored the importance of parliamentary diplomacy as a mechanism to address common challenges and achieve key priorities.

Following the adoption of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Canada established diplomatic relations with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The Convention served as a reference point for the exchange and appropriate treatment of envoys between different states, setting a legal foundation for the strengthening of cooperation among countries. Along the same lines, parliaments contribute to strengthen relations between countries through high-level exchanges and dialogues and the adoption of concrete actions for further synergies in spaces such as ParlAmericas.

Mr. Marc Serré (Canada), Chair of the ParlAmericas Canadian Section, emphasized that “Canada has worked in partnership with the countries in Central America to encourage economic growth and sustainable development, to promote and defend human rights, to advance gender equality and women’s political empowerment, to strengthen democracy, to support climate change mitigation, to improve regional security, and to increase opportunities for marginalized groups.”

The Honourable Senator Rosa Galvez (Canada), member of the ParlAmericas Board of Directors and Canadian Section of ParlAmericas, moderated the presentations delivered by the parliamentary delegations, which highlighted achievements reached through parliamentary cooperation. The speakers included Ms. Silvia Hernández (Costa Rica), President of the Legislative Assembly; Ms. Sofía Hernández (Guatemala), Vice-President of the Congress of the Republic; Mr. Felicito Ávila (Honduras), Vice-President of the National Congress; Ms. Maritza Espinales (Nicaragua), Vice-President of the National Assembly, member of the ParlAmericas Board of Directors; Mr. Mariano López (Panama), Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the National Assembly; and The Honourable Senator Mobina Jaffer (Canada).

Member of the Legislative Assembly María Inés Solís Quirós (Costa Rica), Member of the ParlAmericas Board of Directors, in her welcoming remarks stated that “Our leadership, good practices, and actions, which have been decisive in continuing to consolidate our democracies, will set the path for further cooperation governed by mutual respect and trust.”

The meeting concluded with closing remarks from Mr. Fernando Arce (Panama), member of the ParlAmericas Board of Directors, and H.E. Sofía Cerrato, Ambassador of Honduras to Canada and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Canada.

For more information on the work carried out by ParlAmericas, visit and follow @ParlAmericas on social media.