BREAKING NEWS: Guyana/Venezuela border controversy referred to ICJ

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that the decades-old Guyana/Venezuela border controversy will be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), for a juridical settlement.

This decision was made by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres after UN Good Officer Dag Halvor Nylander failed to resolve the controversy over the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award that settled the boundary between Venezuela and then British Guiana.

The decision has been welcomed by the Government of Guyana.

According to an official statement by the Ministry, Guyana has always held the view that the ICJ is the appropriate forum for the peaceful and definitive settlement of the controversy, and is pleased that the view has prevailed under the process developed by the eighth UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the incumbent Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

It further states that “Guyana will not allow factors extraneous to the controversy to influence its referral to the Court, but it will continue the advancement of peaceful relations with Venezuela whose people are the brothers and sisters of Guyanese. In this context, Guyana acknowledges the Secretary-General’s suggestions for the immediate future.”

Read more in the Official Statement below.

 

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PRESS STATEMENT BY MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

ON DECISION BY UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL

ON BORDER CONTROVERSY BETWEEN GUYANA AND VENEZUELA

 

Guyana welcomes the decision of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to refer the controversy between Guyana and Venezuela to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Guyana has always held the view that the ICJ is the appropriate forum for the peaceful and definitive settlement of the controversy, and is pleased that that view has prevailed under the process developed by both Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Guyana will not allow factors extraneous to the controversy to influence its referral to the Court, but it will continue the advancement of peaceful relations with Venezuela whose people are the brothers and sisters of Guyanese. In this context, Guyana acknowledges the Secretary-General’s suggestions for the immediate future.

That Guyana has stood firm against Venezuela’s attempt to re-open a territorial boundary settled and recognised for half a century before its independence, and done so despite the manifest unequal strengths between the two countries, is to our national credit. Guyana, as one of the world’s small developing countries, is pleased that its reliance on the rule of law internationally has been the underpinning of its national sovereignty.

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