Archive for December, 2008

Belize Chamber of Commerce holds discussion with Prime Minister

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Prime Minister Dean Barrow was the Guest of Honour at a Business Mixer that was sponsored by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on December 3, 2008.

The Business Mixer was held with a view to facilitate the members of the Chamber of Commerce with queries that could arise at any time and need better clarification. Also, it was organised in order to enable members to be participate in an open exchange of information with Dean Barrow in his presence.

The Prime Minister said that Belize is not experiencing financial constraints or contraction in domestic credit caused as a result of the crisis in the US economy. According to Barrow, Belize was in good standing for acquiring funds from the Caribbean Development Bank, the International Monetary Bank (IMF), International Development Bank, and, to some extent, from the Caricom Petroleum Fund.

Belize will sign a compromise with Guatemala in Washington

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Next week, officials of Belize and Guatemala will sign a special agreement, or compromise. This document will be submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and it will set out the terms under which Belize and Guatemala would seek the court’s intervention into their conflict.

The two countries hope that the International Court of Justice will help them settle the age-old territorial claim of Guatemala over half of the territory of Belize.

The compromise is to be signed at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) on December 8, 2008. According to the Government of Belize, this agreement will be made public only after it is signed in Washington.

Neither Belize nor Guatemala have given the Court of Justice mandatory jurisdiction over disputes with other states, so the it can only hear the case if both countries submit the special agreement. In the case of the dispute between the two countries, the court will be asked to make a final determination on where the border of Belize with Guatemala is located.

It should be indicated that, according to Guatemala, Belize’s southern border ends at the Sibun River in the Belize District, while everything below there belongs to Guatemala’s territory. Belize, in its turn, considers that under the 1859 Convention between Britain and Guatemala (this convention sets out Belize’s boundaries as detailed in the 1981 Constitution of Belize) the southern border ends at the Sarstoon River in Toledo, not at the Sibun River, as the Guatemala claims.