ICJ education campaign hosted in San Pedro ahead of the April national referendum
Former Ambassador and Minister of Foreign Affairs Assad Shoman and Jordan Craig from the Citizens for the Defence of Sovereignty held an informational session with islanders regarding the Guatemalan claim to Belize ahead of the national referendum on whether to take the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Themed ‘Ya Da Fi We Belize,’ the presentation took place at the Central Park on Wednesday, March 27th, and explained why Belizeans should consider taking the matter to the ICJ, and most importantly, the assertion that Belize will have a stronger case over Guatemala if the dispute is taken before the court.
The presenters also spoke about several legal opinions in favor of Belize, which will also be submitted to the ICJ. One of those is the legal opinion from former ICJ President American Judge Stephen Schwebel. In an interview, Schwebel referred to the 1859 and 1931 Treaties between Great Britain and Guatemala which according to reaffirmed the boundaries. He said that the court would call facts on the ground which shows the presence of English settlers tolerated by the Spanish authorities then. “Both in practice and terms of the treaty prescription, Belize has a title to its territory within its current boundaries,” said Schwebel. “I can say with genuine confidence that Belize by far has a stronger legal case in this dispute, and I for one would be very surprised if the court did not give effect to the 1859 treaty and the 1931 exchange of notes as well as the effectivities on the ground which also favor the position of Belize.”Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun