Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Press Statement – June 18, 2018

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana wishes to advise that Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Honourable Carl Greenidge and Guyana’s Legal Counsel attended the meeting convened by the Honourable Abdulqawi Abdul Yusuf, President of the International Court of Justice on Monday June 18, 2018 to discuss with Guyana and Venezuela the scheduling of written pleadings in the case – the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela).

Subsequent to this meeting, Guyana noted the issuance of a press release by Venezuela stating that it would not be participating in the case.

Guyana observes that under Article 53 of the Statute of the Court, “whenever one of the parties does not appear before the Court, or fails to defend its case, the other Party may call upon the Court to decide in favour of its claim”. Guyana intends to proceed in accordance with the said Article.

Guyana is fully committed to the rule of law in international relations, including the peaceful resolution of disputes in conformity with international law. It trusts that the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations, will resolve the controversy with Venezuela in accordance with the law in a manner that is fair and equitable. It hopes that, in due course, Venezuela will reconsider its position and decide to appear in Court and defend its case. The Court’s rules allow for that. At the same time, if Venezuela persists in its refusal to participate, the rules provide for the Court to proceed, after a full hearing of the case, to a final judgment that is legally binding on both the participating and nonparticipating parties.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to reiterate that Guyana fully respects the decision of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to choose the International Court of Justice as the means of settlement of the controversy and is confident that the Court is fully empowered to decide the case.

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