Gov’t does not want future generations burdened with Guyana/Venezuela controversy – Min Todd

The Government hopes that when the border controversy case between Guyana and Venezuela is heard next year, the matter is put to rest and not continue to burden taxpayers and future generations. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Hugh Todd

This was shared by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Hon. Hugh Todd during an interview on DPI’s ‘Progress Report’.

On December 18, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled it had jurisdiction to hear the case concerning the validity of the 1899 Award which settled the boundaries between British Guiana and Venezuela.

“We are looking forward to a very fruitful and well-represented position from Guyana. I think we are very comfortable as a people for all that we have achieved so far and I think the people of Guyana are very optimistic for an outcome that would see the next generation not having to go through this,” he said.

“It requires a lot of costs; it can affect investment, and we do not want the next generation to have to be spending taxpayers’ money to go through this. I think it is a necessary expense, but it is not what we want to be spending money on, not something that we believe is already final. I am hopeful the kids today would not have to deal with that,” the Minister stated.

Minister Todd noted that His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, does not want the matter to rest on the next generation’s shoulders. “That is why is he is very focused and very passionate about ensuring the people of Guyana get the best representation possible,” he said.

The Foreign Minister said Guyana is represented by an excellent legal team and a very inclusive committee dealing with the border controversy. He said the Government is keen on taking a national approach to the matter, including the Opposition.

Minister Todd said the recent ruling on the matter was defining moment for Guyana. He reiterated that Guyana remains to stand firm by the 1899 Arbitral Award as complete and final. The Minister said that while Venezuela is not participating in the case, it does not prevent the Court from handing down a decision.

The December 18 ruling now allows the Court to proceed to hear the merits of the case. 

It will decide and judge the matter, which could result in the permanent fixture of Guyana’s established boundary with Venezuela.

The ICJ has set January 15 as the date for the case management hearing. During the hearing, the ICJ is expected to decide on the time to be allocated for the different elements of the hearing, presentation by the two sides, responses and deliberation by the judges.