Greenidge set for talks with Venezuela officials on border controversy

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A team of officials led by Guyana’s Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge is now in New York for talks with Venezuelan counterparts this weekend, a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.

The meeting, which will take place today, Saturday and Sunday, has been organized by Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Border Controversy between Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Dag Halvor Nylander.

According to the release, the meeting was organised as part of the fulfillment of his mandate under the Good Offices Process, with the strengthened aspect of mediation, to actively engage with the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela with a view to exploring and proposing options for a solution to the border controversy between the two countries.

In 2015, the Government of Guyana requested the United Nations Secretary-General to take steps toward a resolution of the controversy using an option from the menu as stated in the Geneva Agreement of 17 February 1966.

Further, in 2016, as a consequence of a stalemate on the matter, outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon agreed with his successor, Mr António Guterres, to continue to use the Good Offices Process until the end of 2017 as a means of arriving at a settlement.

According to the mandate of the Personal Representative, “If, by the end of 2017, the Secretary-General concludes that no significant progress has been made toward arriving at a full agreement for the solution of the controversy, he will choose the International Court of Justice as the next means of settlement, unless the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela jointly request that he refrain from doing so.”

According to the Ministry, since his appointment on February 27, 2017, Nylander has visited Guyana four times where he held talks with President David Granger and Foreign Minister Greenidge, among others.

Additionally, in September, the Guyana delegation to the General Debate of the seventy-second session of the United Nations General Assembly met with the Secretary-General as well as Nylander and held informal discussions with Venezuelan counterparts.

The present Good Offices Process has been conducted since 1990. Venezuela contends that the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 demarcating the border between Guyana (British Guiana at the time) and Venezuela is null and void. Consequently, it continues to lay claim to two-thirds of Guyana’s territory.

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