Guyana welcomes appointment of officer to mediate border controversy with Venezuela

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President David Granger said that the Government of Guyana welcomes the recent announcement by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres of the appointment of Mr. Dag Halvor Nylander, a Norwegian diplomat as his Personal Representative on the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.

“We feel it’s a positive move. We are confident that the appointee can do his job and we will abide by the Terms of Reference and the conditions that have been laid down by the United Nations’ Secretary-General,” the President said.

He informed that Guyana will continue to engage the UN through confidence-building measures, while at the same time will do whatever is possible to move the process along to enable the Secretary-General to make a decision about the juridical course of action requested by Guyana.

President Granger disclosed that Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge made a presentation at a Ministerial Conference held earlier today on the impact that the territorial controversy has had on investments in Guyana. “The threats that we have experienced over the years to our territorial integrity have been a disincentive for foreign investors. We believe that the UN taking a stand is an indication that the matter will be brought to some form of closure by the end of this year and we expect that things will be better for Guyanese investment,” the President said.

As a result of Venezuela’s renewed attempts to claim Guyana’s territory, former UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon before he demitted Office, announced a limited term of one more year for the Good Officers process.

As such, the new UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres on Monday (February 27, 2017) appointed a Norwegian diplomat who dealt with the Colombian peace process to try to settle the longstanding border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced the appointment of Dag Halvor Nylander as Guterres’ personal representative “with a strengthened mandate of mediation.”

Failure to settle the dispute this year will lead the UN to take the matter to the International Court of Justice.

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