If the people of both Guatemala and Belize vote affirmatively in their separate referendums, the territorial dispute will be taken to the ICJ. The People’s United Party had made a motion in the Senate for a bill to Amend the Maritime Areas Act so that Belize could claim all of its rights to sea waters. However, the UDP Senators and the Church Senator, voted against it. Today, Elrington was asked what was the advice he got from international attorneys that persuaded him as Foreign Minister not to support an amendment to the Maritime Areas Act. Elrington says that an Amendment to maritime areas act would not help Belize at the ICJ.
Wilfred Elrington, Belize Foreign Minister:
They did not advise me not to go through with it. They advise that our timing, the timing to do it will be a matter for us at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and they were no urgency to do it at this time. If Maritime Areas Act has been harmful to us the harm was done in 1993. Nothing we do now is going to make it different. The harm was done in 1993 because what is going to happen when you do go to the ICJ is that they’re going to look at what you were prepared to do in 1993 even though later on you decided that you are going to relent from that position. They are going to look at all the documentation and from the evidence that I have gathered since then to now. That was not the only very egregious step that was taken. It’s been some to my mind equally if not more serious steps were taken during the time of the Peoples United Party very, very, very worrying for me. Which I just learned when I was at that meeting in London. So that is not the only issue of concern.