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A Song Competition for the ICJ

The re-registration exercise is the first step towards securing a vote in the 2019 referendum about whether or not Belizeans want to forward the case of Guatemala’s unfounded claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Though there is no unifying voice as the PUP and the UDP are expressing different views. However the education process has begun. The Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow is collaborating with the Referendum Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to engage musicians to express themselves and educate the public with original songs about the dispute and the ICJ. Barrow told us that musicians are free to express any view on the topic.

The Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow: Get the facts ICJ Song Competition is really my contribution to the National discourse surrounding the yes or no vote that we face on April 2019 when we have the referendum on going to the ICJ to settle the unfounded Guatemalan claim to our beloved nation. So in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the OAS I advised that it was important when having this discussion for us to be open minded, objective and that is where we are at now. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this particular vehicle is taking the position of education and enlightenment and that is my contribution. That is what the ICJ Song Competition is all about. It’s all about the musicians expressing themselves Yes or No. There is no prohibition, there is no guidelines or policy that requires the song submitted to only be pro ICJ. I made that apart of me agreeing to engage in something like this because I feel like it is important that everyone have a voice and we are educating right now so we can’t expect someone to say yes or no at the education phase and so right now as we engage the music community and we engage society at large through the vehicle of music it’s important that everyone have a their opinion and be able to express that through song.

Barrow says he hopes to have the competition at the Belize Civic Center in October.  The prizes include two thousand dollars for best song and two thousand dollars for the best music video.