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Youths discuss pros and cons of the ICJ Print E-mail
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Friday, 06 October 2017 00:00

The Belize History Association (BHA) in collaboration with the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and other partners held its Fourth Annual September Lecture as part of the 2017 September Celebrations. It was held at the George Price Center for Peace and Development last Friday evening under the title “Youth Perspectives on the Belize-Guatemala Dispute and the ICJ”.

Four youths from three tertiary institutions participated in the lecture. These included Chelsea Kuylen from the Ecumenical Junior College, Markisha Jorgensen from the Independence Junior College, and Joshua Pott as well as Kendice Armstrong from St. John’s Junior College.

For Markisha Jorgensen, the ICJ is the one court that “can make it binding”. Jorgensen posits that our case is strong given the 1859 treaty, which “clearly established the border of Belize.” While Chelsey Kuylen takes a different view, that Belize has “not sufficiently explored alternate issues” and that “there is a possibility that the Guatemalans will not follow the decision of the ICJ.”

A youthful moderator of this event, Carlos Clarke, who is also a foreign service officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says, “I think it is a very timely initiative, it is a very good thing to involve the youth in this very important matter of natural interest, which is the Guatemala-Belize territorial dispute, [and] is something that goes to the core of our sovereignty as an independent state.”

The BHA is thankful to NICH, the National Celebrations Committee, Social Security Board and the Belmopan City Council for their financial support to this activity.

Efforts are now underway to reach out to the ‘millenials’ who have further interest on the Belize-Guatemala issue. KD Productions has now gone live with an application named ‘You Decide Belize,’ which is available for free download from the Google Play Store.