The Government of Guyana and the Government of Brazil have agreed to have the borders separating the two countries remarked to reaffirm their friendship and respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
According to a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency, the preparatory meeting for the initiative was held in Roraima, Brazil on Saturday morning and was headed by Trevor Benn, Guyana’s Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) and Chairman of the Mixed Borders Commission.
The Ministry said the exercise is aimed at solidifying the friendship between the two countries and a demonstrating mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty. The marking process is slated to commence Thursday, November 16, 2017.
According to the statement, as the meeting got underway, Consul General of Guyana to Brazil, Shirley Melville said that the process is a significant step in the fortification of the relationship between the two countries.
“This morning is a step towards developing the relationship between Guyana and Brazil. We have been working together for a number of years and this is a continuation of building on that relationship,” she was quotedas saying.
The release further noted that these comments were supported by Dauberson Monteira da Silva, Head of the Commission on Border Demarcation for Brazil, who said that the relationship between the two countries has indeed been a long one, characterised by goodwill, friendship and mutual respect. He too, noted, that the exercise will further strengthen the strong bond, which the two nations share.
Commissioner Benn in his remarks to the team said that the issues of sovereignty and territorial integrity are important to the Government and people of Guyana. “Our borders are very important to us in Guyana and we appreciate the cooperation from the Brazilian Government. Guyana is committed to the process and we are prepared to find the resources to ensure that this process is completed. We will continue to give support, financial and otherwise, to ensure that this process is completed. We have shared relations with Brazil for a long time and during our relationship we have been working to keep our borders clear so that we can identify the border marks,’’ Benn was quoted as saying in the release.
In this regard, the Guyana Defence Force and the GLSC have dispatched a total of four persons to facilitate the process. The team will be headed by Adrian Cheong, a Senior Land Surveyor and Captain Joselyn McAllister from the GDF and three technical and field officers from the GLSC.
Noting that Guyana has undertaken to fund some aspects of the process with Cabinet’s approval, the Commissioner said that it is imperative that every country be able to identify its boundaries and have these established.
“The team will look at the marks, repair and update them for posterity. The integrity of one’s country is paramount and to ensure that our integrity is assured, one of the things that we do is to identify the borders to make sure that it cannot be encroached or is not encroached by others and since we have a really good relationship with Brazil it is easier for us to keep that border clean, clear and visible to all concerned,” he said.
The Ministry explained that the process was started in 1994 but was stalled for years due to funding issues on both sides. Due to the density of the forests in the border region, only four marks; BG15 to BG19 will be remarked and redone during the four-day exercise. The remainder will be done at a later stage. At the completion of the remarking process, a follow-up meeting will be held between the two delegations to discuss the successes and challenges for future planning.