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What happens if Belizeans vote ‘No’ to the ICJ?

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Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2018. 11:59 am CST.

By BBN Staff: Today, a delegation of Belizean journalists met with Ambassador Dylan Vernon of the Embassy of Belize to the Kingdom of Belgium and Mission to the European Union.

When asked about the implications if Belizeans decide to vote ‘No’ to the ICJ on April 10, 2019, Ambassador Vernon stated there would be some disappointment within the international community: “ If Belize votes ‘No’ to the ICJ, there will be some disappointment within the international community and it will make it more challenging to present to the international community and more challenging to get support for the OAS office in the adjacency zone and the facilitation processes.”

According to Ambassador Vernon, if there is a ‘No’ vote from the Belizean people, Belize will try its best to maintain its support from various countries.

However, there is a hope within the international community for Guatemala’s long standing claim on Belize’s territory to be resolved.

Ambassador Vernon reiterated that while the international community has advised that the two countries settle the dispute through an official judicial organ as the ICJ, they are not forcing either countries to do so, “ The International community does not take sides on the issue and they say that they recognize Belize’s Independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and they say that the claim is an issue between you and Guatemala. Belize and Guatemala need to settle that and the best way to settle that is through the courts. If we go to the ICJ, we are not going to do so because the International community wants us to do so, we are going because we as a people of Belize want to do that, solve a problem that we have had for so long.”

The support and recommendations of the international community is important but the decision is one that we as a country must make.

When asked what happens with Belize and Guatemala in the case of a ‘No’ vote, Vernon said that both countries would need to begin negotiations again and establish measures to live with our neighbor, which maintains a claim on our territory.

 

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