Presentation by Ambassador David Gibson at the 2nd Belize National Research Conference, 2019.
This outline policy guide is an attempt, in the event of the failure to obtain a Yes Vote in the 10th April 2019 national referendum, to identify relevant elements for an alternative legal strategy to the judicial settlement of Guatemala’s territorial dispute. This considers utilizing the advisory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice as the relevant juridical medium for resolving the controversy. The research exercise examines the attendant issues to be considered including:
-The appropriate diplomatic strategy and posture to be adopted by Belize;
-The role of the United Nationals and the Organization of American;
-Review of the status of the 2008 Special Agreement;
-Guatemala’s likely disposition to pursuing the advisory option;
-Steps to be taken by Belize where Guatemala declines such proposal;
-Belize’s assessment of the legal arguments relating to the validity of the 1859 Boundary Convention under international treaty law;
-Considerations for the legal question to be referred to the Court;
-Consequential actions to be taken on confirmation of treaty validity;
-A brief comment on the national management of the process.
Key words: Belize-Guatemala relations, International Court of Justice (ICJ), border disputes, international conflict resolutions