Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, revealed on Friday that the bipartisan ministerial advisory committee on the Guyana/Venezuela Controversy is fully functional and fulfilling its mandate.
Minister Todd’s comments come on the heels of a postponed extraordinary sitting of the National Assembly, which was set to pass a motion to solidify Guyana’s stance on the border controversy.
The Parliamentary Opposition had proposed within the motion that a non-partisan commission be established to ensure its participation.
However, Minister Todd pointed out that the already-established mechanism includes two opposition Members of Parliament.
“We have already established a bipartisan ministerial advisory committee on the Guyana/Venezuela controversy, which the President Ali Administration inherited from the Granger Administration and we’ve left it intact,” he told the Department of Public Information (DPI).
The advisory committee consists also of several seasoned diplomats who provide critical advice to the government.
“That committee meets on matters relating to the case itself before the ICJ and [other] related issues,” the Minister explained.
As a result, he highlighted that creating a commission will only duplicate that which already exists.
“So, what we’ve recommended to the Opposition is that…we already have a mechanism in place so we don’t need to duplicate it, because it would be the same persons who are now on this ministerial advisory committee would also have to sit on this commission,” Minister Todd pointed out.
The Minister expressed government’s openness to broadening the scope of the same committee, given the new developments coming out of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.
In keeping with international law, Guyana is seeking a final and binding judgement from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that the 1899 Arbitral Award remains valid and that the Essequibo region belongs to Guyana.