OAS could help solve other border issues - Ishmael
Stabroek News
October 1, 2002

Related Links: Articles on the Caribbean
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Guyana’s Ambassador to the US Odeen Ishmael has lauded the mediative role played by the Organisation of American States in promoting a solution to the border dispute between Belize and Guatemala.

In the light of similar problems between and among other countries of the hemisphere, the ambassador asserted that “serious thought must be given to the utilisation of the growing experience of this organisation in assisting to bring about solutions.”

At the time, Ambassador Ishmael was delivering a statement at the Headquarters of the Organisation of American States in Washington DC yesterday at the ceremony marking the conclusion of the facilitation process for the Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute.

He was speaking on behalf of current Chairman of CARICOM, Bharrat Jagdeo, who is also President of Guyana.

“We in CARICOM feel confident that both the facilitation process, and the ultimate final resolution of this territorial issue between the two neighbours, can become a model for the countries of this hemisphere in helping to reach final settlements of long-standing territorial issues,” Ambassador Ishmael declared.

The ambassador, on behalf of CARICOM, also congratulated the President of Guatemala and the Prime Minister of Belize for displaying great leadership by agreeing to a process to solve the longstanding problem between their two countries.

“Very often, solutions to problems between countries are propelled when their leaders make a decision to take a giant forward step to confront the issues, and develop imaginative ways to reach a mutual understanding,” Ishmael remarked.

Border disputes, he noted, create an unnecessary barrier to economic and social development between affected countries.

Ishmael underscored, too, that while placing unnecessary pressures on budgets and other available resources, they also frustrate foreign and local investments and negatively impact on international cooperation in trade, environment protection and security.

In concluding, the ambassador paid tribute to the efforts of the two facilitators, Sir Shridath Ramphal and Paul Reichler, adding that everyone can learn from the ideas and methodology on international territorial settlement that they generated during their discussions to reach an understanding.