Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Thursday | November 22, 2012
Home : Caribbean
Ban Ki-moon happy with Guatemala-Belize progress
Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed what he describes as progress made by Belize and Guatemala under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS) to resolve their long-standing territorial dispute.

"He welcomes their decision to hold simultaneous referenda on October 6, 2013 to consult their populations on referring the dispute to the International Court of Justice," a spokesman for Ban said in a statement.

The Belizean-Guatemalan territorial dispute is an unresolved binational territorial dispute between the two Central American neighbours dating back to 1940 when Guatemala claimed control of all of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional summit in Suriname earlier this year "reaffirmed their unequivocal support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Belize".

They also "reiterated the importance of observing the provisions of United Nations General Assembly Resolution Number 31/49, and also called on both parties to resume negotiations on all the relevant issues in order to find, as soon as possible, a peaceful and definitive solution to the dispute, in keeping with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations".

Ban's spokesperson noted that Belize and Guatemala have requested financial support from the international community for the referenda and possible eventual legal proceedings.

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