Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018. 9:38 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, is currently on a visit to Belize and has met with several government officials ahead of her meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow during her four-day visit to the country.
Scotland is expected to discuss the implementation of mandates agreed at the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). This includes boosting trade and innovation, protecting the ocean and implementing the revised guidelines for Commonwealth election observation.
She will also discuss Guatemala’s territorial, insular and maritime claims on Belize’s territory. At the April 2018 CHOGM, leaders reiterated the Commonwealth’s full support for Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“This visit gives us the opportunity to really look at how we tailor the 2018 CHOGM agenda to the specific needs of Belize. It also allows us to reassure its people that the Commonwealth is standing solidly behind them in the longstanding territorial dispute,” Scotland said.
Yesterday, Scotland met a range of stakeholders to get an insight into the country’s preparation for the scheduled 2019 referendum when Belizean voters will decide whether to take the matter to the International Court of Justice for a final and binding determination to be made. She also had meetings with Governor General, Sir Colville Young; Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington; Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai; the Referendum Commission and civil society.
She also said that the referendum is entirely a matter for the Belize electorate. She stressed that the Commonwealth stands ready to offer technical assistance, if requested by Belize.
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