President meets King, David Cameron: UK restates pledge to Guyana in border controversy

referendum on December 3.

Upon a referral made by the United Nations Secretary-General, Guyana in March 2018 moved to the court for a full and final settlement to Venezuela’s rejection of the arbitral award which settled the boundaries of the two countries 124 years ago.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, member of Guyana’s delegation to COP28 Shyam Nokta and other Guyanese officials engaging British Foreign Secretary David Cameron

Venezuela has refused to recognise the right of the court to determine the case, but the court has said it does.

Guyana has stated to the court that the referendum serves “to obtain responses that would support Venezuela’s decision to abandon [the current proceedings before the Court], and to resort instead to unilateral measures to ‘resolve’ the controversy with Guyana by formally annexing and integrating into Venezuela all of the territories at issue in these proceedings, which comprises more than two-thirds of Guyana.”

In the arbitral tribunal award of October 3rd, 1899, the borders of Guyana (then British Guiana) and Venezuela were settled, with Venezuela inheriting 13,000 square kilometers of what was then British Guiana territory – an area bigger than Jamaica or Lebanon.

Venezuela was bound under international law to respect that award, which it did for the subsequent six decades. Venezuela, however, at the onset of Guyana’s independence in 1966, resorted to various strategies and challenged the award.

An agreement reached in Geneva on February 17, 1966, allowed for the United Nations Secretary-General to determine a resolution to the controversy, and dialogue and talks ensued for decades.

In mid-February 2017, the new UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Dag Halvor Nylander of Norway as his Personal Representative on the Border Controversy, in a final effort at dialogue to settle the matter.

That failed on January 31, 2018, the UN Secretary-General referred the matter to the ICJ and Guyana filed its case.