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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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The Guatemalan Congress late last week overwhelmingly gave its approval for a referendum to be held to give the people of Guatemala a say in whether or not that country's claim to Belize should be taken to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. According to a report in the Prensa Libre newspaper, the approval of the referendum came during a regular session of the Guatemalan Congress last Thursday. What follows now is that president of the Guatemalan Congress will go to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal with instructions to carry out the referendum. No date or indeed a timetable for that move has been given. According to Prensa Libre the simple question requiring either a "yes" or a "no" vote that will appear on the ballot is: Are you in favour of having the International Court of Justice, with headquarters in The Hague, resolve the territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala? Under the special agreement, also known as the compromise that was signed in December of 2008 by Belize and Guatemala it was agreed that if the people of both nations approved, by way of a simultaneous referendum on the same day, that the dispute would proceed to the ICJ. The outcome of any ruling handed down by the ICJ will be final and binding, regardless of in whose favour the ruling is handed down.

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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Belize Represents in Guatemala City

And as we told you last night Belize and Guatemala moved a very significant step forward to a referendum when on September ninth the Guatemalan congress unilaterally approved the special agreement. And while a referendum is a long way off, according to ambassador Fred Martinez during this month Belize is making its presence as a sovereign equal known through a number of social events in Guatemala City:�

H.E. Fred Martinez, Ambassador to Guatemala
"The Intercontinental Hotel which is a 5 star hotel here in Guatemala City invited countries to participate in their international food festival and Belize was featured today at the main restaurant at the hotel with the main buffet featuring Belizean foods. A chef from Belize was invited. Ms. Jenny Staine Pinelo from Elvi's Restaurant in San Pedro who did a marvelous job on huge spread of Belizean foods. The press have covered it widely. On September 21st our Independence Anniversary the embassy will be hosting a reception for the diplomatic corps and government officials Belizeans here in Guatemala, the private sector etc. at the hotel Intercontinental and we will be featuring the Pantempers Steel band from Belize. It features the fact that we are a separate nation and with our own identity, our own flag and culture and it was very gratifying to work with the Intercontinental hotel to see the Belize standing outside of the restaurant and features as Belize a country today. And even our Independence reception, of all places to hold such a reception abroad to be Guatemala to showcase our nationhood."

Channel 7



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