14 June, 2000 - Belmopan
Belize was represented when the Organization of American States (OAS)
held its 30th General Assembly in Windsor, Ontario, Canada June 4-6.
Leading the three-person Belizean delegation was the Hon. John Briceño,
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources, the Environment
The assembly placed major emphasis on a Canadian initiative known as
"human security," referring to the daily needs of people to have an
Concurring with the initiative, Briceño told the over 1,000 delegates,
observers and representatives of the media and NGOs that "Belize fully
supports the human security initiative since security concerns such as
military balance of power and military projection capabilities have
never been our concerns. Our security concerns fall within the
parameters of the Canadian idea about poverty, food security, education,
employment, adequate shelter, environmental protection, and
participation in social and cultural activities."
Buttressing the Canadian initiative, Briceño expressed the hope that the
recently created OAS Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and
Development will result in the wealthier countries helping the poorer
Touching on the problem of drugs, he pointed out that Belize and many
small countries are caught between the people in the south who produce
the drugs and those in the north who consume them. He called for a
hemisphere-wide assault on the problem.
Briceño met with Ireland's observers and discussed establishing
diplomatic relations with Ireland, plus Irish support in the European
Union for Belizean bananas, Belize-Guatemala relations, and its help in
assisting Belize's tourism industry.
The Deputy Prime Minister also attended meetings with Lloyd Axworthy,
Canadian Foreign Minister, and with CARICOM and Central American Foreign
"Belize and Canada share many common bonds, including our democratic
traditions inherited from Britain," said Briceño, upon his return to
Belize on June 8.
"Canada is a staunch friend who has aided our development and has
supported our causes in the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the
Other members of the delegation were Ambassador James Murphy, permanent
representative to the OAS, and Nestor Mendez, the alternate