Commonwealth Committee supports peaceful solution to Belize-Guatemala border dispute
Posted in: Regional News by admin | 19 May 2016 | 5443
LONDON, CMC – The Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize is calling for a peaceful and final resolution of the longstanding disagreements concerning the border between Belize and Guatemala.
In a statement, the Committee, chaired by Barbados Foreign Minister Maxine McClean, said it met earlier this week to discuss the recent events that took place in the Adjacency Zone between the two countries that resulted in the death of at least one Guatemalan national.
The Committee, which includes Barbados, Canada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria and Tanzania, was briefed on the dispute by Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington.
“The Committee reiterated and endorsed the firm support of the Commonwealth for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Belize, as expressed consistently and most recently in the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Communiqué. The Committee encouraged all concerned to work towards a peaceful and final resolution of the longstanding disagreements concerning the border between Belize and Guatemala.”
The Committee said it also “encouraged progress to be made through dialogue between Belize and Guatemala, and urged both parties to honour the terms of the Agreements reached in 2005 and 2008.
“The Committee commended the Organisation of American States (OAS) for its confidence-building and peace-building efforts between Belize and Guatemala, and urged the international community to continue to support these and other similar measures fully and as a matter of urgency,” the statement noted.
Last month, the OAS said it would conduct, at the request of the two governments, an independent investigation of the April 20 incident that led to the death of Guatemalan child Julio René Alvarado Ruano.
Alvarado Ruano’s father and brother were also wounded in the incident
The OAS also urged the parties to hold referenda on the decision to submit the territorial controversy to the International Court of Justice, in accordance with the Special Agreement.
“This is the only viable option to resolve the dispute in a peaceful and permanent way,” the OAS Secretariat said.
Guatemala and Belize have had a long running border dispute with Guatemala claiming the whole or part of Belize since 1940.
Meanwhile, Erlington is due to meet his Guatemalan counterpart, Carlos Raul, in Turkey on Saturday.
Both men will be travelling to Taiwan to attend the inauguration of that country’s first ever woman president Tsai Ing-wen on May 20.
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