Guyana goes before ICJ in its case against Venezuela. 

Hearing to determined authority of the court to resolve the matter

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 29, 2020

Guyana’s case against Venezuela goes before the International Court of Justice on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

The hearing, which will take place via video conference is a worthy move by the Court to keep the wheels of justice turning despite the constraints of COVID 19, noted Foreign Secretary Carl Greenidge, Guyana’s representative in the case.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Secretary, Carl Greenidge

Via a media release, Greenidge stated that Guyana has long valued the opportunity of a judicial settlement of what he termed “Venezuela’s outrageous claim” to nearly three-quarters of Guyana.

“Guyana welcomed the decision of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2018 (acting under the 1966 Geneva Agreement) that the International Court of Justice shall be the forum of settlement of the controversy,” the Foreign Secretary said.

Tuesday’s hearing is for the sole purpose of addressing the question of the Court’s jurisdiction; that is, whether the Court has the authority to resolve the controversy between Guyana and Venezuela over the validity of the boundary between the two countries that has been permanently fixed since 1899.

Mr. Greenidge made it clear that Guyana believes the Court has jurisdiction to rule on the validity and permanence of that boundary. Venezuela, on the other hand, claims the court does not have jurisdiction.

At this hearing, only Guyana will present its arguments to the Court, as Venezuela has decided to boycott the hearing.

This, however, will not prevent the Court from hearing Guyana’s arguments or going forward with the case, the Foreign Secretary explained. He said Guyana anticipates that the Court will issue its decision on the jurisdictional question before the end of the year.

“Should it rule in Guyana’s favour, as we expect, it will then proceed to the next phase of the case, and ultimately decide the question that Guyana has put before it: whether the 1899 boundary that separates the two States, is a lawful and permanent boundary, such that the Essequibo region is confirmed as an integral part of Guyana’s territory for all time.”

The Foreign Secretary said Guyana will continue to do everything in its power to achieve that result, and remained confident that the outcome will be what all Guyanese wish for.

The hearing will be streamed live.