PM John Briceno explains the need to Ratify Pact of Bogota
On Monday Leader for Government Business, Senator Eamon Courtenay tabled a motion, asking the Senate to ratify Belize’s accession to the Pact of Bogota. The Pact of Bogota allow countries that have signed it, to ask the International Court of Justice to resolve dispute. As we’ve reported, Honduras in its constitution is claiming the Sapodilla Cayes. The government has been advised to settle the matter in the ICJ- so it does not affect the Belize/Guatemala case at the ICJ. PM John Briceno explains.
John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “We continue to maintain very good bilateral relations with Honduras but it is a matter that has to be addressed and they themselves understand that. The foreign minister has already approached our foreign minister and said well you know we will have to address this now that you have taken this to the ICJ and the judges of the ICJ would not touch the Sapodilla Cayes because they will realise now that it’s not only Guatemala but also Honduras and from our stance there’s an issue of timing. In 2024 there’s going to be an elections for new judges and then new judges are going to come into 2025 so if we don’t address this now then who knows we may have to start the process all over again because new judges are going to be looking at the case so we want to try to fast track to be able to get everybody around the table or to court and by using the Pact of Bogota then Honduras is compelled because they are signatories to the Pact of Bogota to go to the ICJ. What will happen if we don’t do what we’re doing then the court will rule just where Belize and Guatemala are involved but in that area they will not rule because they’re saying well another country is also involved.”