29 September 2007
The Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize was convened by the Commonwealth Secretary General on 28 September 2007 in New York in accordance with the mandate given to him by the Commonwealth Heads of Government when they met in Coolum Australia in March 2002 "to convene the Ministerial Group on Belize when the occasion required it". The meeting was chaired by Dame the Honourable Billie Miller, Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados. The meeting was attended by the Members of the Committee – Canada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tanzania and the United Kingdom as observer; as well as representatives of Dominica, Kenya and Saint Lucia.
The Committee met to review the developments in the continuing efforts of Belize to bring an end to Guatemala’s territorial claim. The Committee received a report from Her Excellency the Honourable Lisa Shoman on the current situation concerning the dispute.
The Committee noted the efforts made under the Agreement on a Framework for Negotiations and Confidence Building Measures between Belize and Guatemala signed on 7 September 2005, and, in particular, the role of the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), within the current round of negotiations, to make recommendations to both Parties on the way forward. The Committee also noted the actual status of negotiations pursuant to that Agreement.
The Committee expressed confidence that the effective implementation of the Agreement, including the mechanism to allow recourse to an international judicial body for final resolution, could contribute to the culmination of the Parties’ efforts toward the peaceful and definitive settlement of the territorial dispute, and urged the support and assistance of the international community.
The Committee reaffirmed its firm support for the territorial integrity, security and sovereignty of Belize.