Guyana to ask World Court for favourable ruling after Venezuela backs out

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The Guyana Government Monday announced that it will be asking the World Court for a ruling in its favour after Venezuela announced its decision to not participate in the juridical process to resolve the border controversy between the two South American countries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that Article 53 of the Statute of the World Court states “whenever one of the parties does not appear before the Court, or fails to defend its case, the other Party may call upon the Court to decide in favour of its claim”.

Guyana intends to proceed in accordance with the Article, the Ministry said.

This decision was made following a meeting between Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge and President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Abdulqawi Abdul Yusuf to discuss the scheduling of written pleases in the case – the Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899.

The Ministry explained that subsequent to the meeting, the Guyana Government note the press release issued by the Venezuelan Government expressing its intention to not participate in the case.

The Guyana Government has reassured its commitment to the rule of law in international relations, including the peaceful resolution of disputes in conformity with international law.

“It trusts that the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations, will resolve the controversy with Venezuela in accordance with the law in a manner that is fair and equitable.

“It hopes that, in due course, Venezuela will reconsider its position and decide to appear in Court and defend its case. The Court’s rules allow for that,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry stated.

At the same time, the Ministry noted that if Venezuela persists in its refusal to participate, the rules provide for the Court to proceed, after a full hearing of the case, to a final judgment that is legally binding on both the participating and nonparticipating parties.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to reiterate that Guyana fully respects the decision of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to choose the International Court of Justice as the means of settlement of the controversy and is confident that the Court is fully empowered to decide the case,” the statement concluded.

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