And so the education campaign has officially been launched. This afternoon, the government received a grant of half a million Belize dollars towards the campaign. That is being provided by the UNDP and the United States government. The grant is also going to support the strengthening of the voter registration process that began this week.
Adrienne Galanek Charge’ de Affairs US Embassy: This grant worth $250,000 US dollars is funded through the Central America Regional Security Initiative CARSI Economic support fund and fundamentally it impacts all three of the US strategic goals in Belize and the larger Central American region. The resolution of the territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala is critical to the citizen security of Belize and the region. In today’s world security requires working with each other even when we may disagree. It is as true for nations as it is in the neighborhood as such the United States has long supported both nations in their efforts to resolve this dispute peacefully.
Karen Bernard Acting Resident Coordinator UNDP: The UNDP is pleased to support this initiative for the government of Belize. We are International civil servants, we are here to serve Belize, to serve the government and the population that the government represents. We bring some value added; I am happy to say we provide high level technical advice to the authorities responsible for the organization of referendum processes and other elections related processes. UNDP has been building expertise in this area. We do not impose, we only provide advice based on the principles that underpin our work from the United Nations such as transparency, inclusiveness, cost effectiveness, solutions and sustainability. This is what the United Nations and the UNDP stand for.
Wilfred Elrington Minister of Foreign Affairs: Given the profound consequences which will flow from this referendum for the future of our beloved country Belize it is in my view most fitting and greatly comforting that our government is partnering with the premiere multilateral institution in the world. The United Nations continuation from the early days as well as ofcourse with the oldest super power in the world the United States of America in this historic venture and in this our historic quest to consolidate our Independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and of course our National security.
The support will include technical assistance. Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington says that government will be receiving additional international financial support for the campaign which he adds will be fully funded.