Guyana’s Foreign Minister calls for safeguarding of territorial integrity at UN’s OIC conference

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, September 28, 2019

Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Dr. Karen Cummings has sounded a call for countries to safeguard their sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Minister Cummings was addressing Member States of the Organisation of Islamic Corporation (OIC), at its Annual Coordination Meeting (ACM) at the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) on Friday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings delivering OIC Statement

The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations, with the membership of 57 states, is the collective voice of the Muslim world to ensure and safeguard their interest on economic, social and political areas.

Minister Cumming reminded that Guyana, since 1966, has spared no effort in striving to defend its territorial integrity against the spurious claim by neighbouring Venezuela.

The Spanish speaking nation continues to claim over two-thirds of this country, completely disregarding the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award which settled the land boundary of the two countries.

“This matter is now before the International Court of Justice and Guyana welcomes the prospect of a final and binding decision by the Court that will definitively resolve this longstanding controversy,” Minister Cummings related.

The Foreign Minister said this year’s meeting allows countries to recommit to the principles set out in the charter – the promotion of peace, justice, human dignity and fundamental freedoms and the consolidation of unity and solidarity among Member States as we pursue our common goals in the international arena.

She said the promotion of sustainable development and poverty eradication must be at the centre of all national plans.

“In Guyana, our Green State Development Strategy focuses on the sustainable use of our rich biodiversity and our agricultural and mineral resources in a way that is aligned with the 2030 Agenda.”

The minister acknowledged the multiple challenges facing the Islamic world, noting that Guyana remains deeply concerned about the plight of the Palestinian refugees and the difficulties facing UNRWA.

“Guyana will continue to contribute to its funding as long as the need exists. The Agency’s services are crucial to maintaining the human dignity of the refugees and alleviating their suffering.  At the same time, we must continue to encourage the parties to engage in respectful dialogue with a view to a peaceful resolution of this longstanding conflict.”

Guyana also acknowledges the important role played by the OIC in development around the world and wishes to express its appreciation for the recent pledge of financial and technical assistance in the critical areas of infrastructure, capacity building and trade, the minister noted.

According to Minister Cummings, Guyana looks forward to engaging with oil-producing members of OIC especially in the areas of technical support and capacity building as this country embarks on the development of its emerging oil and gas sector.