In his maiden address to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Thursday, President Dr Irfaan Ali raised the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy, which he pointed out, remains a threat to Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The Guyanese president told world leaders that while the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Government welcomes efforts to bring about domestic harmony within Venezuela, agreements that defy international law and processes must not be the basis for mediating such harmony.
“Guyana cannot be used as an altar of sacrifice for the settlement of Venezuela’s internal political differences,” he stated.
“Just recently, an agreement was issued in Mexico City by which the contending internal factions in Venezuela renewed a baseless claim to two-thirds of Guyana’s territory. We have responded in clear terms. And I repeat, our response now in these hallowed halls in which nations of the world meet in peace and cooperation.
Stating that Guyana does not promote the use of violence or threats to settle disputes, Dr Ali reminded that “In a 1966 Agreement signed in Geneva, Venezuela consented to allow the UN Secretary-General to decide on the means of settlement of this controversy. The Secretary-General decided on the International Court of Justice. Both Parties are therefore bound by the Court’s jurisdiction and ultimate decision,” President Ali asserted.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on December 18, 2020 ruled that it has 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.
Venezuela is claiming 70 per cent of Guyana’s lands in the Essequibo. The land being claimed by the Bolivarian state also covers Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) into the lucrative Stabroek Block.
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 Guyana’s established boundary with Venezuela. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]