ICJ’s ruling on Guyana/Venezuela case a ‘great victory for the rule of law’ – Minister Todd

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Hugh Todd says the decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to hear the case between Guyana and Venezuela is a “great victory for the rule of law.”

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

The Minister was at the time providing the National Assembly with an update on the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy on Wednesday.

Minister Todd said it was a great moment for Guyana and is testimony to what the country can achieve when united.

The ICJ on December 18, ruled that it had jurisdiction to hear the case brought by Guyana concerning the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award against Venezuela’s claims that the Award was null and void.

President of the ICJ, Justice Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, delivered the judgment during the hybrid hearing at the Peace Palace in The Hague. In handing down the judgement, the Court relied on the 1966 Geneva Agreement pointing out that the parties accepted the possibility of the controversy being resolved by means of judicial settlement.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, following the ruling, said the decision should be used to unite the country.

The President said despite political differences, Guyana’s Governments over the years, have been steadfast in their desire to protect the country’s sovereignty and resolute in defending our territorial integrity.

“We have always stood together, we have always recognised together, and demonstrated to the international community, together, that we are one and that we are united on our sovereignty and borders,” the President said.

He added that “This victory is testimony to what we can achieve as a people when we are united and this should be a healing point for our country. There is no compromise on our sovereignty, we are together on this. And it is with this same spirit that I think we should be together on the development and future of our country.”

The ruling of the ICJ 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 our established boundary with Venezuela.

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