The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has congratulated the people of Belize on a successful referendum.

On 8 May the people voted to refer to the International Court of Justice any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land, insular territories and any maritime areas.

She said: “I constituted and deployed a Commonwealth Observer Group, chaired by former Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Hubert Ingraham, to observe the referendum and have taken note of the Group’s interim statement that the referendum was “credible, transparent and inclusive”.

“The Commonwealth, in cognisance of its fundamental values and principles that international peace and security are essential to the progress and prosperity of all, has consistently encouraged all concerned to work towards a peaceful and final resolution of the longstanding disagreements concerning the border between Belize and Guatemala. In this regard, the result of the referendum in Belize is a historic and watershed national step.”

“We welcome this development and reiterate the firm support of the Commonwealth for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Belize, as repeatedly expressed, most recently in the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Communiqué, and in iterations by the Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize.”