OAS Secretary General Visits Belize

April 19-21, 2016

Belmopan, Belize

On April 19, OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, traveled to Belize on an official visit invited by the government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow accompanied by Dr. Francisco Guerrero, Secretary for the Strengthening of Democracy. Almagro first met with Prime Minister Barrow and discussed how the OAS can continue to support the efforts of the Belizean government in promoting cooperation and development in the country before addressing the current status of the Belize-Guatemala process, as well as next steps directed at finding a peaceful and permanent solution to the centuries-old territorial dispute between these two sister nations.

Following this meeting, Secretary Almagro met with Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. The government of Belize offered a welcome cocktail in honor of the OAS Secretary General that same evening where he publicly announced the appointment of his new Representative for Belize-Guatemala Affairs.

The following day, Almagro visited the OAS Office in the Belize-Guatemala Adjacency Zone where the children of the culture of peace program presented live performances showcasing the work achieved within the framework of the music and art workshops. This was the first time that an OAS Secretary General visited the Adjacency Zone. The Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, was also present during the culture of peace ceremony. Later that day, Secretary Almagro met with the staff of the OAS-AZ Office and was briefed about the current and future challenges of this civilian peace-keeping mission. Almagro´s meetings included a luncheon with government authorities, the Leader of the Opposition, as well as with the Ambassadors of the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Canada. As part of the visit, the Belizean government organized a tour of the Mayan archaeological site Xunantunich which is located very close to the Adjacency Line.

On the morning of April 21st, OAS Secretary General met with the leader of the PUP Opposition, the Honorable Johnny Briceño, as well as with the newly created Advisory Committee on Belize-Guatemala Affairs comprised of all former PUP authorities, including former Prime Minister Said Musa, and former Ministers of Foreign Affairs Lisa Shoman, Eamon Courtenay and Godfrey Smith.

He held a brief press conference at the airport before departing.