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Guyana: CARICOM firmly behind Guyana in border case

HEADS of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) reiterated their firm and unswerving support for the preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana as the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy engages the attention of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The heads of government of the regional bloc renewed their support for Guyana during their just concluded 39th Meeting of Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The regional summit was attended by President David Granger, Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge, and Ambassador Audrey Waddell.

Upon being updated on the most recent developments between Guyana and Venezuela, the regional leaders took note of the fact that Guyana had filed its application with the ICJ on March 29, 2018, in accordance with the decision of the United Nations Secretary General, which was issued on January 30, 2018 to choose the international court as the means that is now to be used for the settlement of the controversy between the two countries.

“Heads of Government further noted that Venezuela had indicated its decision not to participate in the case and that in such a case, the rules of the court provide for a full hearing of the case and a final judgement that is legally binding on both the participating and non-participating countries,” the CARICOM Secretariat said in a statement.
In offering its renewed support to Guyana, the heads of government also expressed support for the judicial process which is intended to bring a peaceful and definitive end to the long-standing matter.

The country’s boundary with Venezuela was established by international law since 1899.
Meanwhile, the heads of government were also briefed on the most recent developments between Belize and Guatemala.

“Heads of government expressed concern that the undertaking by both countries and the Organisation of American States (OAS) to engage in the design and development of a mechanism of co-operation for the Sarstoon River remains outstanding and urged both countries and the OAS to reinvigorate their efforts to this end,” the CARICOM Secretariat said.

The regional leaders, however, noted with satisfaction that in accordance with the Special Agreement to submit Guatemala’s Claim to the International Court of Justice, Guatemala successfully held its referendum on April 15, 2018, to submit its claim on Belize to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a final resolution. Belize is currently engaged in a nationwide public education campaign to prepare Belizeans to make an informed decision for its own referendum, scheduled to be held April 10, 2019.

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