Belize and Guatemala agree on date of Simultaneous Referenda

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Belize and Guatemala has agreed on a date of a simultaneous referendum that will decided whether Guatemala’s long term territorial claim over Belize will go to the International Court of Justice. The date for the referenda is set for the 6th of October, 2013. The announcement was made on Friday April 27th via a press release from the Government of Belize following a meeting at the Headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington DC, USA.

According to the release it states that “delegations from Belize and Guatemala, headed by their respective Foreign Ministers, Wilfred Elrington and Harold Caballeros, met with OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, to determine the date on which the simultaneous single issue referenda.” The referenda that will take place in both countries is in compliance with the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to submit Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime claim to the International Court of Justice located in The Hague, Netherlands.

Representatives from both countries will now take the necessary steps to begin informing the populations in their respective countries and to sensitize them as to the territorial dispute, as well as on the need to find a peaceful and permanent solution to the differendum.

The OAS Secretary General Insulza congratulated both Ministers for this important decision and reiterated the “General Secretariat’s willingness to support the process, as well as to seek the concrete support of the international community towards this end.

The Ministers also agreed that they would convene a high-level meeting during the month of June to examine compliance with the confidence-building measures, as well as to identify activities directed at strengthening cooperation between the inhabitants of the Belize-Guatemala Adjacency Zone.

Belize was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General of Belize Hon. Wilfred Elrington, H.E., Senior Ambassador Alfredo Martinez, Ambassador Nestor Mendez, Ambassador Lisa Shoman and First Secretary Kendall Belisle

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