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OAS Secretary General Attends Signing of Agreements between Guatemala and Belize

  December 17, 2014

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today attended the signing of 13 bilateral agreements between Belize and Guatemala, which took place in the framework of the XLV Summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA) in Placencia, Belize.

After witnessing the signing, Secretary General Insulza highlighted that, “for the first time since Independence, the governments of Belize and Guatemala have taken concrete steps to forge a common destiny filled with promise and hope in direct benefit of both countries.” The leader of the hemispheric Organization recalled “one year ago, the Foreign Ministers came to the headquarters of the OAS, and in my presence adopted a very ambitious ´Road Map for the Strengthening of Bilateral Relations´ - so ambitious that many people doubted it could be carried out.”

“Thanks to the leadership, tenacity, and perseverance of the Joint Commission, headed by Ambassador Alexis Rosado of Belize and the current Foreign Minister of Guatemala, Carlos Raúl Morales, not only was the Road Map complied with, but strong ties of friendship and cooperation were created between the different sectors of Belize and Guatemala,” said the Secretary General, who added that the agreements will improve the lives of thousands of citizens “in terms of migration, security, education, tourism, culture, and the environment, among many other issues.”

To arrive at a pacific and lasting solution to the territorial differendum between the two countries, said the Secretary General, one last step is missing – “the popular consultations that are demanded by respective legislatures.” Although the consultations could not be held previously “because the countries believed that the conditions did not exist to ensure a successful result at the polls,” said the Secretary General, “today we can affirm that the conditions do exist, it only remains to set the most appropriate date for the consultations.”

The Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, called the signing of the agreements “a truly historic moment in the relations between Belize and Guatemala.” “Today you will help to bear witness to the signing of thirteen agreements which cover a range of cooperation issues that will benefit the peoples of our two countries and by extension the region as a whole.”

As to the role of the OAS, the Prime Minister said, “we cannot overstate the indispensable role of our hemispheric Organization, the Organization of American States, in helping to make all this possible. I therefore say to you Mister Secretary General that your work and that of the entire team involved in this process is both a fulfillment of your general mandate and a testament to your particular commitment to Belize and Guatemala.”

For his part, the President of Guatemala, Otto Pérez Molina, said the agreements signed were possible thanks to the decision of both governments to guide the bilateral relationship according to two main axes. The first, said the Guatemalan President, is “to leave the territorial, insular and maritime differendum” in the hands of the International Court of Justice, not in they day to day of our relationship.” “The second axis is to strengthen and ensure a normal and solid bilateral relationship in benefit of the development of the people of both countries, which generates a positive political and social environment for the process of the definitive solution of the territorial differendum,” he said.

The Guatemalan President concluded by expressing thanks for “the valuable work of the Organization of American States in accompanying the process, a guarantee of the transparency and good faith between Guatemala and Belize.

The agreements signed cover the areas of protection of cultural goods, migratory issues, electric energy, student exchanges, protection of the environment, sustainable tourism, and processing of visas, among others.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-560/14