Granger Set to Lead Delegation to UN General Assembly

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (Sept 13, 2017) – Guyana said Wednesday it expects the aftermath of the catastrophic hurricanes which have devastated the region in the past week to be among the issues dominating the 72nd Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that begins in New York on September 16.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that President David Granger will be heading the country’s delegation to the UNGA that will also include the Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl B. Greenidge and the Director General Mrs. Audrey Jardine-Waddell.

“In addition to the general debate which can be expected to cover a rage of topical issues such as terrorism, UN Reform, climate change and economic issues, a number of side events are also scheduled, these include Gender and Women’s empowerment, energy and communicable diseases,” the statement noted.

Several Caribbean countries have been severely impacted by the Category 5 Hurricane Irma as it made its way through the Lesser Antilles last week. The storm has been blamed for more than 40 deaths and millions of dollars in damages.

“One shadow for the Caribbean in general hanging over this year’s event is the aftermath of the catastrophic hurricanes which have devastated the region. A great deal of attention can therefore be expected to be drawn to the treatment of vulnerability of SIDs and other small states and means of assisting them to cope,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted.

“As usual there will be sessions covered by the Commonwealth to look at matters of common interest such as border problems and preparations for next year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference to be held in the United Kingdom.”

Meanwhile, Greenidge is quoted by the online publication, Demerara Waves Online News as saying that Guyana has literally ruled out considering any request for an extension of time before the United Nations (UN) refers the border controversy with Venezuela to the World Court.

Greenidge said that Guyana is in no mood to entertain any request for more time beyond this year-end to decide whether the controversy should be taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“Right now, there is in the Secretary General’s communication to the two countries a process and the process has time-lines and, notwithstanding our concerns about some of the ideas of the SG, we embraced the process on the understanding that it will be implemented in good faith by all parties including the United Nations,” he told the online publication.

Granger is schedule to address the UNGA and meet with UN Secretary General, António Guterres and his personal representative in the border controversy, Dag Halvor Nylander on September 25.

The Foreign Minister said the President’s address to the UN General Assembly is expected to send a clear message that Guyana wants the UN Secretary General to stick to the deadline.

“The President’s statement will no doubt make reference to the process and Guyana’s wish to ensure that the SG (Secretary General) adheres to the commitment that he made to facilitate dialogue between the parties and to ensure that by the end of 2017 if there was no resolution or significant progress towards resolution then the matter will be referred to the ICJ and doubtless he will have some things to say on that,” he said when asked by Demerara Waves Online News.

Guyana maintains that the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award is full, final and perfect settlement of the land boundary with Venezuela.

Venezuela has over the years filed objections with gold mining and oil exploration companies that have been exploiting or searching for valuable natural resources onshore and offshore Guyana.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said bilateral meetings are scheduled to be held with states from Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and traditional friendly states during the UNGA session. – CMC

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