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 Belize
Country Profile
Area: 22,965 sq km (8,867 sq miles)
Population: 324,000 (UN, 2012)
Capital City: Belmopan
Map
  • Overview
  • Country Studies
  • Diplomacy & Aid
  • Media & News
Overview
Government Type Parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Independence 21 September 1981 (from the UK)
Constitution 21 September 1981
Legal system English law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch

Head of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Colville YOUNG, Sr. (since 17 November 1993)

Head of government: Prime Minister Dean Oliver BARROW (since 8 February 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar VEGA (since 12 February 2008)

Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister

Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; prime minister recommends the deputy prime minister

Legislative Branch

Bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (12 seats; members appointed by the governor general - 6 on the advice of the prime minister, 3 on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and 1 each on the advice of the Belize Council of Churches and Evangelical Association of Churches, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Better Business Bureau, and the National Trade Union Congress and the Civil Society Steering Committee; to serve five-year terms) and the House of Representatives (31 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Elections: House of Representatives - last held on 4 November 2015 (next to be held in 2020)

Election results: UDP - 50.52% (19 seats); PUP - 47.77% (12 seats)

Judicial Branch Summary Jurisdiction Courts (criminal) and District Courts (civil jurisdiction); Supreme Court (the chief justice is appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister); Court of Appeal; Privy Council in the UK; member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
Country Studies
We've listed below some useful country studies that provide additional sector-specific information. This list is not all inclusive; we will continue to update the list and eliminate any links that close, are found to be unfactual or deceptive. The links included are those generally considered most relevant to the topic and worthwhile for their content and services. We urge you to explore these resources for their information, ideas, and services. Please suggest other resources you think we should list here. Notify us if you think a resource listed here has become deceptive or unfactual.
Belize: Security Assistance
Country-by-country listing provides information on Political-Military-administered security assistance funds from the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
BBC News Profile - Belize
A guide to history, politics and economic background of countries from BBC News.
CIA World Factbook - Belize
Country profile provides information on country background, geography, people, government, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues.
Country Health Profile - Belize
Information, health situation analysis, and statistics about countries in the Americas.
FAO and Belize
Information on economic and agricultural issues from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It also has a good selection of maps.
Human Development Report on Belize
Provides quick statistics on human development, economy, labor force, and population from the United Nations Development Programme.
IAEA - Belize
Country factsheet on multilateral and safeguard agreements from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
ITC - Belize
Country-specific trade and market profiles, map, and trade statistics from the International Trade Centre (ITC).
PAHO - Belize
PAHO country office for Belize.
Portals to the World - Belize
Country portal and resources compiled by Library of Congress subject experts.
Country Study - Belize
This is a book-length report studying the history, social customs, and politics of the country from early times to the present.
UNdata Country Profile - Belize
Provides summary, economic, social, and environmental statistics from the United Nations Statistics Division.
UNESCO Worldwide - Belize
Highlights cooperation between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and its Member States.
UNESCO Communication & Information - Belize
Country profile, news and links to related projects and websites.
UNESCO Institute for Statistics - Belize
A selection of national statistics on education, literacy, science and technology, culture, and communication.
UNESCO Office for the Caribbean
Cluster Office representing UNESCO member and associate states in the Caribbean. Member States are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saints Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Associate Member States are British Virgin Islands, Netherlands Antilles and Cayman Islands.
UNESCO World Heritage - Belize
Cultural and natural heritage properties and documents on the World Heritage List.
United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Belize
Country profile covering history, politics, economy, human rights, relations with the UK, and travel.
United Nations Statistics Division: Environment Snapshot - Belize
Country snapshots offer national environment statistics.
U.S. Department of Energy - Belize
Country energy profile for production, consumption, U.S. oil imports, and CO2 emissions.
U.S. Department of State - Background Note: Belize
This resource provides background information on issues such as the economy, history, politics, and foreign relations.
UNAIDS - Belize
Country situation analysis and news from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
WHO - Belize
Information and statistics on the status of public health in Belize from the World Health
Diplomacy and Aid
We've listed below some useful information related to Diplomacy and Aid for this country. This list is not all inclusive; we will continue to update the list and eliminate any links that close, are found to be unfactual or deceptive. The links included are those generally considered most relevant to the topic and worthwhile for their content and services. We urge you to explore these resources for their information, ideas, and services. Please suggest other resources you think we should list here. Notify us if you think a resource listed here has become deceptive or unfactual.
CARICOM - Belize
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas in 1973. It is a regional organization dedicated to improving development, trade and economics, international competitiveness and economic leverage, coordination of foreign economic policies, and standards of living and work.
Commonwealth of Nations - Belize
"The Commonwealth is an association of 53 independent states consulting and co-operating in the common interests of their peoples and in the promotion of international understanding and world peace. The Commonwealth's 2 billion citizens, about 30 per cent of the world's population, are drawn from the broadest range of faiths, races, cultures and traditions."
Delegation of the European Commission to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands
The Delegations of the External Service serve European Union interests throughout the world.
Embassy of Belize in Washington, DC
Diplomatic representation of Belize in the United States.
Embassy of the United States in Belmopan, Belize
Diplomatic representation of the U.S. in Belize.
EU's Relations with Belize
Overview, country strategy, agreements, and documents on the European Union's relations with Belize.
G-77 at the United Nations
The Group of 77 is an intergovernmental organization of developing states in the UN. It provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the United Nations system, and promote South-South cooperation for development. There are now 130 member states (including Belize), although the name G-77 was retained because of its historical significance.
IMF - Belize
Country information, reports and publications from the International Monetary Fund.
Inter-American Development Bank and Belize
Strategy, projects,and news about Belize and the IADB.
Permanent Mission of Belize to the Organization of American States
"The OAS brings together the nations of the Western Hemisphere to strengthen cooperation on democratic values, defend common interests and debate the major issues facing the region and the world. The OAS is the region's principal multilateral forum for strengthening democracy, promoting human rights, and confronting shared problems such as poverty, terrorism, illegal drugs and corruption."
ReliefWeb - Belize
ReliefWeb, administered by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), provides news, documents, maps, and background information on emergency assistance by country.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
News, operations, statistics, background, analysis and policy, and maps from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Select Belize from the "Browse by country" drop-down menu on the right.
United Nations Division for Sustainable Development - Belize
Economic, social and environmental policies and plans for sustainable development from the UN Department Economic and Social Affairs.
U.S. Department of State - Belize
U.S.-Belizean relations, diplomacy, and country background notes.
World Bank - Belize
World Bank data, projects, and research in Belize.
World Trade Organization - Belize
Provides key information on trade statistics, WTO commitments, disputes, trade policy reviews, and notifications for member countries.
Media
Here we provide media links and a feed of recent news.
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Country Profile NEWSPAPERS
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Country Profile TELEVISION
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Country Profile RADIO
  • Love FM - commercial, music and news
  • Estereo Amor - private, Spanish-language
  • Krem FM - private, commercial
  • More FM - private, music station targeted at younger listeners
  • Wave Radio - affiliated to United Democratic Party
  • Positive Vibes FM - affiliated to People's United Party
News Update
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