Statement on Belize in Declaration of the 8th Summit of Heads of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States

The 8th Summit of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Heads of State and Government was held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from May 31 to June 1 2016  on the theme “Repositioning the ACP Group to Respond to Challenges of the Sustainable Development”. Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington and H.E. Dylan Vernon, Ambassador to the European Union, represented Belize.  At the conclusion of the 8th Summit the Heads of State and Government adopted a Declaration covering a range of issues related to the work and future of the ACP. The Declaration included, at paragraph 18, a tatement of support for Belize, in relation to the Guatemalan claim. It says,  “ … we strongly reaffirm unequivocal support for Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in relation to on-going tensions along the border of Belize caused by the Republic of Guatemala’s persistent territorial claims. We call on the Government of the Republic of Guatemala to respect the borders of Belize as established in the 1859 Treaty, and move with urgency to agree on protocols for the use of the Sarstoon River on the southern border of Belize. We urge both governments to refrain from the threat or use of force, to respect international agreements, and to move with expedition to hold national referenda with the goal of submitting all Guatemala’s claims to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. We renew our call on the international community, including the European Union, to support the efforts of Belize and the Republic of Guatemala to seek a peaceful, final and just resolution to Guatemala’s claims, and in particular to support the facilitation work of the Organization of American States through its Office in the Adjacency Zone.”

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