Guyana updates Commonwealth on its border case with Venezuela

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Minister Hugh Todd at the 22nd Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting (CFAMM) at Marlborough House, London

Guyana on Wednesday used the opportunity of the 22nd Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting (CFAMM) at Marlborough House, London, to update the global community on its border case against Venezuela, which is currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Guyana was represented by its Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd lauded the Commonwealth for its steadfast support of the country’s efforts to preserve its territorial integrity.

The Commonwealth has long supported Guyana in this regard. In fact, in a major decision coming out of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda in 2022, the 56 member nations have all thrown their support behind Guyana and its efforts to resolve its border controversy with Venezuela before the World Court.

The ICJ is expected to rule on Venezuela’s preliminary objections to Guyana’s case, in the first half of 2023.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, in January 2018, decided that the case should be settled by the ICJ after exercising the powers vested in him to decide how the controversy should be settled by the 1966 Geneva Agreement between Guyana, Venezuela, and the United Kingdom.

The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945, and began its activities in April 1946. The Court is composed of 15 Judges elected for a nine-year term by the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).

Venezuela is laying claim to more than two-thirds of Guyana’s landmass in Essequibo and a portion of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in which almost 11 billion barrels of oil have been discovered over the past seven years.

Meanwhile, Minister Todd also used the occasion to highlight Guyana’s policy direction. He informed the meeting that the government is prioritising democracy, good governance and the rule of law.