Guyana has not abandoned ICJ settlement for border controversy

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Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge has made it clear that Guyana has not abandoned its intention to have the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy heard at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

At a press conference on Wednesday, the Minister flagged sections of the media for misrepresenting issues relating to the territorial controversy.

“The UN Secretary-General has given the personal representative a mandate,” Greenidge explained.

The mandate says: “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.”

In that regard, the Minister asked: “how then in God’s name can you conclude or publish materials suggesting that the matter cannot be referred to the ICJ?”

The Minister explained that Guyana will follow the process to enable the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General to make a decision about the juridical course of action requested by Guyana.

The territorial controversy between Guyana and Venezuela was reignited in 2015 following the announcement by US oil giant ExxonMobil about huge oil finds.

Guyana had requested the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to take steps aimed at resolving this controversy.

In 2016, as a consequence of a stalemate on the matter, the outgoing Ban Ki-moon agreed with his successor, António Guterres, to continue using the Good Officers Process until the end of 2017 as a means of arriving at a settlement.

With this understanding, Guterres appointed his Personal Representative, Dag Nylander to facilitate discussions between the two countries.

Minister Greenidge said the two countries are expected to meet again soon.

The Government of Guyana had earlier expressed that it lost faith in the Good Officer’s Process but was willing to give it one last try.

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