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Assad Shoman explains why the UN Security Council is not an Option for Belize

The United Nations Security Council has often been the hope of the groups that say we should not go to the ICJ. They say the Security Council can protect us. Earlier in the week Former Foreign Minister Assad Shoman explained why the UN Security Council is not an option to determine Belize’s territorial integrity. Shoman says the 1980 UN resolution did many things, even urging the UK to maintain troops in Belize after Independence. However, Shoman said that resolution had no legally binding force on any nation, including Guatemala.

Assad Shoman: “Any nation can without offending any law or offending any international norm refuse to be bound by any General Assembly resolution. The only resolutions that have a binding force are those as you know from the Security Council but if we go to the Security Council they say that within the charter of the United Nations there is an article which says that the Security Council when faced with a breach of the peace or the potential breach or so on that wants to resolve it and is encouraging the parties to resolve their differences. It will be guided by the fact that legal disputes are best resolved by the International Court of Justice which is a path of the charter of the United Nations and which all members of the United Nations are ipso facto by which members of the status of quote are bound by that so that is it: number one the General Assembly resolutions are legally binding and number two if we go to Security Council we will be advised to go the ICJ which is the only organ in the world that has the authority to give a binding decision on a legal issue and I will say this one thing more. I think it is better for us if we go to the ICJ and have the ICJ determine those borders, determine it of course in accordance of national law and principal than if Guatemala were to agree to sign a Treaty agreeing to those borders why? Because a Treaty can be refused to be followed, just like it is refusing to follow the 1859 Treaty but a decision of the ICJ is so binding that if one party is not obeying that decision then the other party can go to the Security Council and the Security Council is mandated to ensure that that Treaty is put into effect. If it was a Treaty that they agreed. If Guatemala were to come tomorrow and say okay we agree to the 1859 Treaty, it’s better that the ICJ do it so that the Security Council can enforce it. If it is just a Treaty then we can’t go to the Security Council.