GOB officially launches ICJ educational campaign

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially launched its public education campaign on whether or not the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute should be decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The campaign, which was launched at the Radisson Hotel on Wednesday, is geared towards informing the Belizean public of what are both countries’ claims, the merits of their arguments, the risks of going to court, and the importance of voting in the referendum.
The Ministry, through it’s Referendum Commission, will be making all information surrounding the issue available to the public through traditional media such as television and news papers, as well as via social media, including Facebook and the Referendum Commissions’ website.
Guatemala has launched a similar educational campaign and both countries are to hold their referendums simultaneously on October 6.
Because Guatemala has changed its claim to Belize from the entire country, to only a portion of the land and neighbouring cayes, Government of Belize is uncertain which claim will be brought to the ICJ. However, Guatemala has agreed to bring any and all claims to the ICJ for a final decision.
Speaking to the media, Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow explained that according to the Laws of Belize, 60 percent of the registered electorate must vote for the referendum to be successful.
He went on to say that GOB has no intention of reforming that law. He also said that while he will not attempt to “strong arm” anyone into voting in a particular manner, he has decided to vote yes, and has openly declared that he has the support of the Cabinet.
The Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington, the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca, and other political figures, as well as representatives from the private sector, Council of Churches, Alcaldes Association and even protesters were present for the event.
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado stated that the information will be presented to the public as unbiased as possible.
Kay Menzes, President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaking for the private sector, said that the decision to vote in the referendum will be one of the most important decisions ever made in Belize since its independence.

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