Govt confident of favourable outcome from ICJ

– will continue to pursue  matter in a bipartisan manner
– anticipates critical support from the Parliamentary Opposition

Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill said the Guyana Government anticipates a favourable outcome on the country’s border controversy case with Venezuela, which is currently before the International  Court of Justice (ICJ).  The Minister made these statements during his Budget 2020 presentation on Wednesday last.

“The Ministry has garnered considerable support from the international community and has assembled a legal and technical team that continues to provide the people of Guyana with exceptional representation. Based on our arguments and justifications, we are confident that the Court has jurisdiction to adjudicate in the matter,” Minister Edghill said. 

He maintained that  based on the proceedings and submissions, the Government is equally confident that Guyana’s contention of the legitimacy and finality of the 1899 Arbitral Award will be upheld by the Court.

“The PPP/C Administration will continue to pursue this matter in a bipartisan manner, and we anticipate critical support from the Parliamentary Opposition,”  Minister Edghill said.    

During his presentation, the Minister highlighted how the Government will be protecting Guyana’s sovereignty and defending its territorial integrity, strengthening multilateral diplomacy, and improving its regional, hemispheric and international presence in the Diaspora.

Minister Edghill noted too  that the Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali-led Government is focused on strengthening Guyana’s leadership and presence within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), even as  economic indicators show that Guyana’s intergovernmental participation within the Community could be broadened and deepened.

“As a more developed country within the regional framework, Guyana is well poised to strengthen its leadership through its commitment to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, establishing the Caribbean Community and the Single Market and Economy,” Minister Edghill said. 

With democracy restored, he said, the Government intends to initiate, and re-engage,  diplomatic relations  with traditional partners and friendly nation-states, especially in light of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  pandemic.

“The new Administration is currently focusing on promoting Guyana’s trade and economic interests and enhancing the image and presence of our country and people on the world stage,” Minister Edghill said. 

He  also lauded Guyana’s  chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China, which he believes will provide the country with an avenue to achieve a measurable degree of soft power diplomacy at the multilateral level, despite the setbacks caused by the recent political crisis as well as the global pandemic.

“Guyana’s chairmanship will provide the nation with much international recognition as the United Nations prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary. As the Chair, Guyana has a role in guiding the debate of this year’s General Assembly, which is in consonance with the G77 agenda of accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030,” the Minister said.

Minister Edghill, who is tasked with oversight of the day-to-day conduct of Guyana’s foreign policy,  said the Ministry continues to develop, maintain and enhance relations with other nations and regional and international organisations.