An International Team Will be Selected: Greenidge Says
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Guyana says it will have an international team
represent the country when the border dispute with Venezuela goes before the
International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said that the issue will not be represented
by the Attorney General and his chamber, adding “you require expertise in
different areas in terms of what the court will look at, treaty issues, border issues.
So we will choose a team based on that and this will be overwhelmingly an
international team,” he said.
The David Granger government has budgeted an estimated US$15 million for legal
fees, according to a government statement.
Last month, the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, announced
he was referring the decades old border controversy to the ICJ.
Venezuela has already rejected the decision made by Guterres saying being
“faithful to its historical tradition and in accordance with the Bolivarian Diplomacy
of Peace, reiterates its firm disposition to defend the territorial integrity of our
Homeland and maintain political negotiation based on the 1966 Geneva Accord,
as the only way to reach a peaceful solution, practical and satisfactory for both
parties and in favour of our Peoples”.
Caracas has said that it wants the UN Good Officers’ Process to have another go
at peacefully finding a solution to the dispute.
Greenidge said it is important for Guyanese nationals particularly the younger
generation to be knowledgeable about the border issue and that his Ministry is
engaging relevant agencies and ministries to embark on public awareness
“The interest does not seem to be where it should, and I think a lot of older folks
who are aware of the issue are perhaps now a little satiated and many of the
younger folks are unaware of the significance of the issue. So we have to do what
we can and one of those things is to use the relevant medium to get the
information out there,” Greenidge said.
The longstanding border dispute dates back to the 19th century involving
Venezuela and Great Britain over the location of the border between its colony of
British Guiana and the Spanish-speaking country. It continued until an Arbitral
Tribunal was empanelled in 1897 to determine the borders and issued an Arbitral
Award on October 3, 1899.
A boundary commission made up of representatives from Great Britain,
Venezuela, and Brazil agreed on the specific point on Mount Roraima where the
boundaries of British Guiana, Venezuela, and Brazil met. A concrete marker was
erected soon after.
However, in 1962, Venezuela, unilaterally and without any basis or evidence,
announced that it regarded the Award of 1899 as null and void. – CMC