Belize attained its independence, from Britain, on September 21, 1981. Thereafter, Belize continued to consolidate its position in the international community through the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relationships, active participation in regional processes and seeking memberships in a number of multilateral organizations.
Today Belize maintains diplomatic relations with almost 120 countries and is a member of over 100 multilateral bodies, including the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the World Trade Organization. Belize is also participates in the integration processes of Central America and the Caribbean. Belize’s foreign policy supports our national development priorities, reflects core values of respect for international law, and is focused on the peaceful and definitive resolution of the Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory.
Belize is a parliamentary, constitutional democracy. The Belizean population is small (360,346 July 2017 est.), but ethnically diverse and overwhelming young (70% under the age of 35). The economy has been driven by agriculture, which accounts for the majority of exports, however, the services sector is growing and now accounts for a significant percentage of Belize's GDP.
As a small state and developing country, Belize faces a number of challenges arising from vulnerability to exogenous shocks, dependence on eroding preferential terms of trade, the effects of climate change, and a significant external debt.