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Members of the International Court of Justice, who are hearing the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the alleged Indian spy sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court; in The Hague, Netherlands on May 15, 2017. (Photo: IANS/ICJ)

PUP agrees to Unified fight to the ICJ

Last week Tuesday, the Cabinet also approved the appointment of two agents to represent Belize at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Ambassador Assad Shoman will take the role of agent and Ambassador Alexis Rosado as his Co-Agent. The official role of the Agent is to represent Belize at the (ICJ) and to monitor and coordinate Belize’s lawyers and experts. The PUP will not be left out in the cold. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has appointed a bipartisan committee of four members. Foreign Minister and the Attorney General represents the Government. Leader of the Opposition John Briceno told us that the PUP is nominating Senator Eamon Courtney and attorney Leslie Mendez to represent the party.

John Bricenio – Leader of the Opposition (PUP):It is not the PUP or the UDP that is going to the ICJ. It is Belize and I think that all of us, political parties, NGO’s, and citizens have a responsibility to be able to work together on this issue. It is not about scoring political points but it is about ensuring that we put our best face front that so we could put the best case possible to ensure that we protect every single square centimeter of what rightfully belongs to Belize. The Prime Minister has proposed a bipartisan committee of four where the Government is appointing two persons, two members. As you all know the Foreign Minister is the Chairman of the Committee along with the Attorney General. I presented to the Parliamentary Caucus that I am nominating Eamon Courtenay to be our lead in that committee and also I am asking Leslie Mendez, a young lawyer to also be part of it. It is important for us to start to get our younger generation involved in this, intimately involved so that they can carry on. We are not going to be here forever and so it is important for us to be able to reach out to young dynamic intelligent, hard-working, determined persons that can be apart of the process. I have also spoken to Ambassador Assad Shoman, we were to meet this morning but unfortunately, I couldn’t.  I will meet with him face to face when he comes back but he has met with Senator Courtenay and has assured me that this committee that as co-agents they are going to be working directly with this bipartisan committee. They are going to be reporting to them every step of the way, there is going to be complete transparency with the committee and accountability. The Prime Minister also when we have spoken a few times over the phone has also assured me that he wants us to be able to work together on this issue, every step of the way to ensure that when there is the change of Government that we expect shortly that we will be able to continue the work that has already started.”

Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “For the avoidance of doubt, is the country now unified going forth to the ICJ?”

John Bricenio – Leader of the Opposition (PUP): “As far as I am concerned yes, it is not a political issue, the people have decided that they want to go to the ICJ. We have to do everything possible to put our best foot forward to ensure that we can defend every single square centimeter that rightfully belongs to Belize.”