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Will Honduras Join Guatemala in Claim against Belize at the ICJ?

Perhaps one of the most notable information shared at the Senate Meeting came from former Foreign Minister and current PUP Senator Eamon Courtney. Senator Courtenay insisted that the Government amend the Maritime Areas Act before agreeing to the referendum. He said that the country has not considered that Honduras also has a stake in at least one island and possibly part of the sea.

Eamon Courtney P.U.P. Senator: “Now is the time for us to come together and address these issues and I say the same thing about the Maritime Areas Act. It is agreed on both sides that the Maritime Areas Act should be amended then pray God tell me why the Belizean people are being asked to vote in the Referendum and then they will show them how they will amend the Maritime Areas Act. Why not tell us now what that amendment is going to be? Why not pass that into law before so that we can make an informed decision on the Maritime Areas Act and Mr. President I keep repeating it, this is a serious matter. During the facilitation process in the late 1999 and into 2000 the Republic of Honduras was engaged in that process. Why? because Honduras has in the past claimed, actually claimed in its constitution one of our cayes. Beyond that for the Maritime Boundaries in the Port of Honduras to be set Honduras has to be a part and I have very little doubt that once this claim is filed Honduras is going to apply to be a part of the party so that its rights in the Port of Honduras is not prejudice. What is the point? You can read the 2002 opinion from beginning to end and you will see no opinion expressed about the strength or weakness of any claim from Honduras. They went and asked Professor Schwebel to issue a revised updated opinion but there was absolutely not a word about any potential claim from Honduras. We are rushing headlong into this matter without telling the Belizean people that there is likely to be a claim from Honduras that we as a people need to decide. If Honduras says we abandon any claim, go to Honduras and get a diplomatic note to that effect and publish it so that we can rest assured. We need to make an informed decision Mr. President.”