Guyana is seeking a final, binding solution to its border controversy with Venezuela and on Friday, President Dr. Irfaan Ali highlighted that accepting established borders has been a long standing feature of the hemisphere.
The Guyanese Head of State made these statements during his address to the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States’ Protocolary Meeting in Washington, D.C.
He said: “Accepting established borders has been the tradition in our hemisphere, a tradition that has shielded our nation’s from conflicts, paving the way for peace, cooperation and development.”
Tradition aside, Dr. Ali emphasised Guyana’s “unwavering commitment” to international law and the peaceful resolution of issues, including its own border controversy with neighbouring Venezuela.
“We’ll continue to champion the cause of international law as we seek a lasting, peaceful resolution to a territorial claim, one that was resurrected on the brink of our independence after decades of acceptance,” Dr. Ali told those gathered at the OAS meeting.
The border controversy case is currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The World Court already found that it has the jurisdiction to preside over the matter and Guyana has submitted its memorial on the merits of its case.
Guyana is seeking a final and binding judgement that the 1899 Arbitral Award, which established the location of the land boundary between then British Guiana and Venezuela, remains valid and that the Essequibo region belongs to Guyana and not Venezuela.
Aside from his remarks on the border controversy, the President spoke about Guyana’s plans for the United Nations (UN) Security Council when it takes up its seat as a non-permanent member for two years starting January 1, 2024.
A key focus of Guyana, Dr. Ali said, will be garnering support for the Haitian crisis.