Letters — 03 November 2018
David Gibson writes Colin Hyde

Dear Colin,

Please refer to your featured article – Amandala Newspaper of Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Why W. Elrington hasn’t delivered on a difficult task, sub-title —Negotiations Done.

The “advisory opinion” you refer to is the international recognition of the state of Belize promulgated in UNGA Resolution 35/20 and implicit recognition of the validity of the 1859 Boundary Convention. Following the logic of your line of thinking, this ipso facto negates the need for the referral of the dispute for an ICJ advisory opinion as an alternative juridical step for Belize. This line of thinking seems then to suggest that the current judicial process is rendered unnecessary, in essence the line taken by the BPP which advocates a return to the UN. The question is how.

Since what is implicit in Resolution 35/20 has been rejected by Guatemala in its No vote on the 1980 UNGA Resolution, the juridical stage of dispute resolution now arrived at, whether through ICJ adjudication or by ICJ advisory legal opinion, will make it quite explicit, providing  final, legal certainty which that country will no longer be able to ignore. The potential of an advisory opinion should not be downplayed or discarded. In this context, the objective of Belize’s internationalization strategy becomes very clear.

David Gibson
Centre for Strategic Studies, Policy Analysis & Research (CSSPAR)
26 Mahogany St.
Belmopan, Belize
(501) 822 2620; (501) 602 8776

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