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UN Secretary General Helping Resolve Guyana & Venezuela Land Boundary Controversy

Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon

NEW YORK – In an effort to resolve the Guyana & Venezuela Land Boundary Controversy, the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, met with Presidents of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at the headquarters of the United Nations on September 27th, 2015

This meeting is regarded as representing an important juncture in Guyana’s quest to ensure a final and binding solution to the controversy over Venezuela’s contention that the Arbitral Awards of 1899, which definitively established the land boundary between Guyana and Venezuela, is null and void.

During the Guyana & Venezuela Land Boundary Controversy meeting, President David Granger reaffirmed Guyana’s position that the Geneva Agreement does not supersede the Arbitral Award of 1899 as Venezuela seems to contend. The President pointed out that the Agreement does not contain any provision that changes the established boundary between Guyana and Venezuela. Neither does the Agreement empower Venezuela to approve or object to Guyana’s efforts at development of anything within its borders.

In light of the continued difference of views on the purpose, intent and scope of the Geneva Agreement, President Granger firmly reiterated Guyana’s position that it is time that the issue of whether the Award is null and void be juridically determined since it is a legal matter.

Guyana welcomed the Secretary General’s reiteration and reaffirmation of his mandate under the Geneva Agreement and noted his commendation of Guyana for the readiness with which the Government of Guyana had received the UN’s Technical Team in August 2015.

Venezuela committed itself to receiving the Technical Team at an early time and date convenient to the United Nations since Venezuela had not previously indicated its readiness to receive the Team.

The visits to both capitals are regarded as critical to the conclusion of the work that the team is conducting which is aimed at making recommendations to the Secretary General on the way forward regarding the selection of a means of solution to the Guyana & Venezuela Land Boundary Controversy.

Once those recommendations are made to the Secretary General, he will consult with both Georgetown and Caracas on what future steps are needed to resolve the controversy.

In response to President Maduro’s call for dialogue, President Granger reaffirmed Guyana’s commitment to dialogue with Venezuela, but noted that the Geneva Agreement prescribes how the controversy should be handled. He stressed that Guyana had not and will not act contrary to the provisions of that agreement. The President clarified that bilateral discussions could address any matter between Guyana and Venezuela other than the controversy.

President Maduro’s announcement that the Venezuelan Ambassador will be returned to Georgetown and that agrément will be granted to Guyana’s Ambassador-designate to Caracas was welcomed by the Guyana delegation and by the Secretary General of the United Nations.


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