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European Union provides further support for activity in the Belize-Guatemala border area

Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2023. 8:49 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: In conjunction with the Organization of American States (OAS), the European Union has agreed to provide 1.5 million Euros (BZ$3.26 million) for the next 18 months to support Confidence Building Measures in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala ahead of the International Court of Justice ruling on the case.

On Friday, a delegation led by the EU’s ambassadors in both countries – Marianne Van Steen (Belize) and Thomas Peyker (Guatemala) and ambassadors of EU member states Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and Spain along with other representatives visited the Adjacency Zone to view the activities financed by the European Union and announce new support from the EU.

The new EU-funded project seeks to support the political-diplomatic process and the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone in implementing conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy activities. In addition to the ongoing EU support, European Union Member States, including Italy and Spain are also providing financial support to the OAS operations in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala.

“We recognize that peace and security are essential for sustainable development and regional stability, this is why we remain committed to continuing our support for the implementation of Confidence Building Measures in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala while awaiting the outcome of the International Court of Justice ruling, ”said Ambassador Van Steen.

“The OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone has played a key role in strengthening dialogue and coordination between institutions and communities in Guatemala and Belize. Working towards a common goal is the best way to prevent conflicts and build peace together. The EU will continue supporting the important work of the OAS in this area,” added Ambassador Peyker.

During the visit, the delegation met with Ambassador Agustín Espinosa, Special Representative of the OAS Secretary General for Belize and Guatemala Affairs, and Dr. Juan Carlos Amador Hernández, Director of the OAS Adjacency Zone Office, toured the office facilities and visited the “Ta’Amay” Centers for Training and Promotion of Peace Headquarters at Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize, and Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala.

The EU says it upholds a peaceful resolution of the Belize-Guatemala Territorial Differendum to help the economies, trade, and cooperation in both countries and as a way to enhance security and development in the region.

 

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