COP28 provided opportunity to advocate for Guyana’s position in border controversy-VP Jagdeo
The 28th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, provided a solid opportunity for the government to build awareness among the international community of Guyana’s position in the ongoing border controversy with Venezuela.
Speaking at a press conference at the Office of the President on Thursday, Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo said the conference saw the convergence of world leaders who may not have been as accessible otherwise.
“It was one of the best vehicles for us to pursue our diplomacy and to bring to the attention of the world’s leaders, not just our advances on the forests, etcetera, but also brief them about Venezuela’s aggressive intent to our country and bring a lot of them up to date on how this matter was settled in 1899,” Dr Jagdeo underscored.
Diplomacy remains the government’s first line of defence in the issue, and Dr Jagdeo reaffirmed that government will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the principles of international law.
Considering Venezuela’s current standing in the international sphere, the vice president stated that the country’s leaders may not have had a similar opportunity to make their case to the international community.
“Now, Maduro could not have gone to COP. The Venezuelan delegation there, we didn’t even know if they had a delegation there because they lacked profile and nobody wants to speak with them unlike in Guyana’s case, we went to a gathering, where you had most of the world leaders in a single room, and we could have spoken to them one on one or their delegations,” the vice president noted.
Dr Jagdeo’s comments come in response to the referendum recently held in the Spanish-speaking country and the actions of President Nicolas Maduro.
On December 1, 2023, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Venezuela to desist from any action that would alter Guyana’s control over the Essequibo region.
On December 5, President Maduro announced administrative measures to annex Essequibo, and gave investors three months to exit Essequibo’s exclusive economic zone, in open defiance of the order handed down by the ICJ.
He has also ordered the state oil company to issue licenses to begin extracting crude in the area.
These actions have been condemned widely by the international community, and many are calling on Venezuela to respect international law.
Guyana is currently seeking a ruling from the ICJ confirming the legal and binding effect of the 1899 Arbitral Award, which fixed the boundaries between the two countries.