NEW U-S EMBASSY OPENS IN BELMOPAN
December 11, 2006
After eighteen months of construction the United States government today inaugurated a new embassy facility in the Capital City of Belmopan.This new facility replaces the embassy building in Belize City.This morning during the inauguration ceremonies, U-S Ambassador Robert Dieter commented that the new facility will offer more services to Belizeans and United States citizens.
Ambassador Robert Dieter: U-S Ambassador to Belize
“This new embassy not only represents our country’s strong relationship but also points to the accelerated development of your capitol and it is important to understand that as the city grows as investments is made and jobs created. The City’s infrastructure must keep pace because of the United States presence in Belmopan and several other country missions within the last year. The number of people traveling to the city will increase dramatically so it is our expectation that this embassy will become a part of the Belmopan community. The facility offers a venue for lecture, exhibits and other programs that are of interest to Belizeans. As many of you know in addition the new embassy Belmopan is also the home of a new housing project for the American employees who all look forward to becoming active members of the community. Trade between our two countries is robust as our financial and in kind contributions to Belize’s economy and infrastructure. This new embassy complex is a tangible manifestation of that strong relationship. The compound represents a fifty million dollar investment to Belize’ economy, the project has created many jobs and provided an opportunities for job training skills improvement in construction, welding, facility maintenance to name a few. And now there are a hundred additional people working in Belmopan who have a positive impact on the city’s economy and civic life.”
Present at the ceremony was Prime Minister of Belize Said Musa. He said that United States and Belize have enjoyed a strong and friendly relationship.
Hon. Said Musa: Prime Minster of Belize
“The United States of America has had a very long and mutual relationship with Belize. Historically Belizeans looked to the United States as a symbol of freedom in our nation’s struggle for political independence. The U-s is Belize’ leading trading partner and a major source of foreign investment, more than fifty percent of Belize’ exports and imports are with the United States. Where as in the past most of the major players in investments were the British, throughout the last several decades U-S investors have claimed a state in our country’s growing tourism and agriculture industries. In terms of how Belize is generally perceive by the U-S Government I quote from the US-AID’s 1986 country development strategy statement, it says “Belize plays a strategic roll as a stable democratic bridge between the Caribbean and Central American Regions” end of quote. That position I believe remains the same today with the added security concern that Belize is one of the transshipment for drugs moving from South America to the North.”
Also present this morning was Governor General of Belize Colville Young Senior.
Sir Colville Young Senior: Governor General of Belize
“This morning marks a great moment in the history of relations between Belize and the United States of America. The official opening of the new embassy building, speaking as one who knows very little about such matters I will venture to guess that among the considerations an embassy entails would be first strength and security secondly the convenience of those using the building both as a provider of a service to the public and as that public. Belizeans, Americans or other who have served in various ways and thirdly there is to consider the architectural beauty and elegance of the various buildings, gardens etc the physical plant in which the embassy is housed. I put strength and security first for the unusual time in which we live prompts that priority. President Franklin Roosevelt famously spoke of four essential human freedoms, freedom of speech and expression everywhere in the world, religious freedom everywhere in the world, freedom from want and freedom from fear again everywhere in the world. There are those who hate our mistrust the very idea of these freedoms and to them America is the great symbol of that thing they hate that freedom, for that reason one of the primary concerns in designing this new embassy must have been making it strong making it secure."
Governor General of Belize, Colville Young. The embassy has a total of nine thousand square feet of walking space. Sensors have been put in place for security measures.The new facility consists of a new chancery building, a general service office annex, a utility building, a warehouse, recreational facilities and three compound access control.The facility is built on a ten acre site at a total cost of fifty million U-S dollars.