Georgetown, Guyana – (January 30, 2018) The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana has welcomed the decision of the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Mr. Antonio Gutteres to refer the controversy arising out of the claim by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Guyana’s territory, to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In special address to the nation, this evening, President David Granger said that “Guyana remains confident in the correctness of its case. Guyana looks forward to the reaffirmation of the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award before the International Court of Justice.”

The Head of State reminded that Guyana’s position has always been that the basis of the controversy is a legal question, which should be resolved peacefully and conclusively through a legal process. The controversy arose out of the Venezuelan contention that the Arbitral Award was null and void. “Guyana will take all the necessary steps to ensure that its national patrimony will be protected for all time. Guyana remains committed to the peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for international agreements and treaties and to maintaining friendly relations with its neighbours,” President Granger said.

Moreover, he informed that, “Guyana will pursue the path ahead in furtherance of the preservation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity with quiet confidence and with the assurance in ever improving relations with its neighbours, Brazil, Suriname and Venezuela.”

Earlier today, Spokesman for the UN Secretary General, Mr. Stéphane Dujarric in a statement, said that owing to the fact that no significant progress was made towards the full agreement for the solution of the controversy in 2017, the final year of the Good Offices Process, which commenced since 1990, the ICJ will be the next stop of settlement, unless the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela jointly requested that Secretary General refrain from doing so.

Early last year, Secretary General Guterres appointed a Personal Representative, Mr. Dag Halvor Nylander, who led a high-level effort to seek a negotiated settlement to the controversy.

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