Friday, May 17, 2024

Hon. Francis Fonseca takes the role of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

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Honorable Francis Fonseca is now the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, adding to his Ministries of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology portfolio. Hon. Fonseca took over following the departure of Eamon Courtenay, who had been serving as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration Minister for three years. Prime Minister Honorable John Briceno took over the Ministry of Immigration.

Honorable Francis Fonseca

According to a Government release, Courtenay’s decision to relinquish the Ministry is so he can return to his private law practice at Courtenay Coye LLP. While he will not be a member of Cabinet, Courtenay will remain a Leader of Government Business in the Senate, with Cabinet privileges. He will also retain overall responsibility for Belize’s two cases before the International Court of Justice: Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular, and Maritime Claim (Guatemala versus Belize) and the Sovereignty over the Sapodilla Cayes (Belize versus Honduras).

Eamon Courtenay

The Office of the Prime Minister confirmed that Courtenay’s tenure ended on December 31, 2023, stating that his service in Cabinet was “for three years, as was agreed with the Prime Minister at the time of his appointment.” “I am grateful for Eamon’s immense Ministerial contribution over the past three years,” says Prime Minister Briceño. “Belize’s diplomatic and foreign trade standing climbed to new heights as a result of Eamon’s leadership, while the Immigration Department has achieved major milestones including the e-passport and amnesty.” Courtenay is a longtime People’s United Party member, having formerly served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2007.

Prime Minister Briceño

Since entering his new role, Fonseca has participated in his first official duty as Minister of Foreign Affairs, attending the CARICOM Council of Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) virtual meeting. “I am honored to take on this new role. We have a lot of work to do, but we have a great team!” stated Fonseca in a social media post.
Fonseca is another longtime member of the PUP, having served as leader of the People United Party from 2011 to 2016. The Area representative for the Freetown Constituency in Belize City, Fonseca, has served various roles in government, including Attorney General and Minister of Education, Culture, and Labour from 2003 to 2008 under the leadership of then Prime Minister, Right Honorable Said Musa.

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