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Jan 9, 2019

Assad Doesn’t Believe Peace Movement Info on 1859 Treaty is Credible

Assad Shoman

Over the past few months the Belize Peace Movement, a team of politicians from the People’s United Party and the Belize Progressive Party has been running its own counter campaign against going to the I.C.J.   The group has pored over the details of the 1859 Treaty and has since come up with specific inadequacies with the agreement.  But according to former Foreign Minister Assad Shoman, a preeminent figure in the study of the Belize/Guatemala dispute, several distinguished, international legal minds, including a recent president of the world court, have all validated the 1859 Treaty.  He says that he doesn’t think that the information being disseminated by the Belize Peace Movement is believable.

 

Assad Shoman, Former Foreign Minister

“The thing is that this thing has been studied over many, many years.  The fact is that ourselves, Belize, for example, we have had two legal opinions that we have commissioned.  One in 1978 and one in 2001, both of them incidentally included Sir Elihu Lauterpacht.  The second one also included a recent president of the ICJ.  It included one of the highest recognized experts on treaty law from Israeli actually, and it included a very distinguished Latin American jurist from Chile.  Guatemala also, itself, commissioned at the time probably the most renowned judge of the United States of America called Manley Hopkins and since then has commissioned other lawyers to give an opinion on this case and all of these, as I have mentioned, have unanimously said that the 1859 Treaty is a solid treaty.  The issue about Article 7 not having been complied or not has nothing to do with the resolution of the question as to the boundaries so defined in the treaty and they have all concluded that those boundaries cannot be changed by anything that Guatemala is arguing.  So now we have a group of Belizeans saying that they have found more deficiencies in that treaty than Guatemala itself found because Guatemala had to submit all the evidence and all the issues it had to these lawyers that advised them.  I don’t think it’s credible, that’s all.”

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