(ACP-EU) – Resolution on the question of Belize 3

Joint Assembly of the Convention concluded between the African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Community (ACP-EU) – Resolution on the question of Belize


on the question of Belize

The ACP-EU Joint Assembly,

– meeting in Abuja (Nigeria) from 20-23 March 2000,

– having considered the question of Belize,

A. recalling United Nations General Assembly Resolution 35/20 of 11 November 1980, which reaffirmed the inalienable right of the people of Belize to self-determination, independence and territorial integrity and called on all parties concerned to respect that right,

B. welcoming the fact that in 1991 the Republic of Guatemala recognised the independence and sovereignty of Belize,

C. alarmed at the recent reactivation of the territorial claim by Guatemala, which now claims more than 12000 square kilometres, or more than half of Belize’s land area,

D. deeply disturbed that despite the fact that Guatemala has stated categorically that it will not resort to the threat or use of force to pursue its claim, on 24 February 2000 elements of the Guatemalan Armed Forces violated the territorial integrity of Belize, unlawfully entered Belizean territory, forced three members of the Belize Defence Force and one member of the Police Department to cross over into Guatemalan territory and then illegally held them prisoner for over a week,

E. especially worried by the fact that this incident occurred even as the delegates of both governments were gathered at Miami, Florida, USA, in preparation for a meeting to chart a course for the amicable settlement of their differences,

F. concerned at the action of the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in expelling a Belizean ambassador from Guatemala on 7 March 2000, alleging that he had unlawfully removed the kidnapped persons from Guatemala, although in a letter of 3 March to the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States (OAS) the Foreign Minister of Guatemala had stated without qualification that the men in question had been judicially processed and granted their freedom,

1. Declares its unequivocal support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Belize in accordance with its long-established and internationally recognised borders;

2. Condemns the action of the Guatemalan Armed Forces in invading Belize’s territory and unlawfully kidnapping four members of Belize’s security forces;

3. Expresses concern at the action of the Guatemalan Government in expelling the Belizean ambassador;

4. Calls upon the Government of Guatemala to ensure that such actions are never repeated;

5. Welcomes the fact that technical-level meetings between the two countries were held in Washington DC, USA, on 14 March 2000, in the presence of the Secretary-General of the OAS;

6. Calls upon both governments to continue their discussions to put into effect measures that will ease tensions along their border, and to establish a process for the early and definitive settlement of their differences in accordance with the principles and practices of the United Nations and with full respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Belize;

7. Instructs its Co-Presidents to forward this resolution to the Governments of Belize and Guatemala, the ACP-EU Council and the Commission.

(1) Adopted by the ACP-EU Joint Assembly on 23 March 2000 in Abuja (Nigeria).

As posted on the Database of European Law

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