Last week the Guatemalan Congress approved the amendment to the Special Agreement, one and a half years after it was signed in Guatemala City. Well, next week in Belize, we are told that the Senate is expected to do the same.
When the Senate meets next week Wednesday, preliminary information says that body will be asked to approve a Resolution Authorizing Belize's Ratification of the Special Agreement on submitting the Guatemalan claim to the ICJ.
Now, as we understand it, any proposal would still have to go to a referendum before it goes to the ICJ. So, we expect that the passage by the Senate is intended as a signal to the international community that both countries are still committed to the process which has been languishing for some time now.
Senate papers have not been circulated yet, so details are scarce. We could not reach the leader of Government business Godwin Hulse for comment.
The amended special agreement was signed in May of 2015 and the principal amendment was to allow for both Guatemala and Belize to hold a referendum on their own timing. The first agreement required that both referendums be simultaneous. That proved problematic for may reasons, not least of which is that fact that Guatemala holds elections on Sundays, and Belize usually does so on Wednesday or Thursday.