UN’s decision to send border controversy to ICJ – a promise kept by Coalition Govt

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The announcement by the Secretary-General (SG) of the United Nations (UN) earlier today that the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela would be sent to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), is highly welcomed by President David Granger and demonstrates the realisation of a promise he made to Guyanese back in 2015.

H.E President David Granger.

During his address at the opening of the 11th Parliament in June 2015, President Granger said while Guyana would strengthen its friendly relations with its neighbours, it insisted on the full implementation of agreements that guarantee its sovereignty.

He made a promise to the nation then that as a small developing state, Guyana would be seeking the assistance of regional and international organisations to bolster support. He said Guyana would be using its presence on the South American Continent and membership of the Caribbean Community, the Organisation of American States, Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to re-engage its neighbours and resolve the major regional security and economic challenges.

Then in September 2015, during his address at the UN General Assembly’s annual high-level debate, the president said that Venezuela’s expansionist ambitions could not be allowed to unsettle the principle of inviolability of borders, undermine the tenets of international law and unravel borders which have been undisturbed for decades.

He said Guyana wanted to bring an end to Venezuelan aggression. “We want to develop our country, all of our country, in accordance with international law,” he noted, calling upon the UN to give “real meaning” to its Assembly’s resolution of May 9, 1994 by establishing a collective security system, not merely to “monitor” but, more so, “maintain” the security of small states.

At the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2017, the Head of State said Guyana has been working assiduously with the Secretary General’s Personal Representative. He said Guyana looks to the international community to ensure that Venezuela is not allowed to thwart the processes of judicial settlement which are the clear and agreed path to peace and justice.

“Striving for peace and the right to development have been Guyana’s deepest concern since Independence in 1966.”

President Granger said Venezuela’s claim to Guyana’s territory, however, has not diminished or been diverted. “Guyana remains imperilled. Disturbing developments within Venezuela have attracted the world’s attention and roused the concerns of many of us over the privations of its people.”

“We depend on our territorial and maritime resources for development and for the release of our people from poverty. Guyana warns the world, through this Assembly, that peace will be at stake in our region if justice does not become ascendant, not only within Venezuela but also in respect to its border controversy with Guyana,” he had told the Assembly,” the Head of State said.

During his address to Parliament in November 2017, the President said the government has aimed all efforts at reaching a peaceful resolution to the territorial controversy which arose out of the contention by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela that the arbitral award of October 1899 was null.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge addressing the press back in 2016 stated that Guyana is not prepared to accept anything other than a move to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to bring a permanent resolution to this matter.

“What we will be doing is speaking to the SG for an update as regard his assessment of what has happened since the last time we met and an indication from him on how he proposes to move forward, if not between now and the future then certainly between now and when he demits office,” he said.

Venezuela continues to lay claim to Guyana’s territory claiming that the 1899 tribunal which ruled in Guyana’s favour, was null and void.

President Granger had said that peace would be at stake in the region if justice does not become ascendant, not only within Venezuela but also in respect to its border controversy with Guyana.

 

By: Alexis Rodney

 

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