Guyana, Venezuela to settle border dispute through UN mechanism

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AirportThe Governments of Guyana and Venezuela have agreed to pursue with the United Nations Secretary General the reappointment of Professor Norman Girvan to continue as the United Nations (UN) Good Officer to settle the border controversy between the two South American countries.

This announcement was made today at a joint press conference by Presidents Donald Ramotar and Nicolas Maduro.

President Ramotar said, ““We also agreed to renew the Good Officer process of the United Nations. We think that Professor Girvan has been doing a good job and we agreed that we would make that request to the United Nations to have this process continued.”

After providing a history of the border issue between the two countries, President Maduro said that Venezuela is committed to the diplomatic and legal measures to settle the dispute.

The dispute lies off the coast of the Essequibo and makes up about two-thirds of Guyana’s territory. It is being claimed by Venezuela, dating back to the early 19th century.

Venezuela rejects an 1899 arbitration proceeding that gave Britain rights to the Essequibo, and says it renewed its opposition to that ruling upon Guyana’s independence in 1966.

The area has for decades appeared on Venezuelan maps in red and white lines denoting the “reclamation zone,” where gold, diamonds and bauxite lie buried under rolling savanna and verdant but sparsely populated jungle.

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