One hundred and twenty years ago, the Anglo-Venezuelan Arbitral Tribunal which had met in the halls of the French Foreign Ministry for three months delivered its Award which fixed the boundary between Venezuela and British Guiana.
But although that treaty was signed and agreed to by both parties, Venezuela is still claiming two-thirds of Guyana’s territory.
In observing the 123rd anniversary since the singing of the treaty, the Government of Guyana through the Foreign Ministry today said it is looking forward to have the matter settled once and for all by the International Court of Justice.
When the decision of the International Court is handed down, it will be binding on both parties. But Venezuela has long said it prefers to settle the matter through dialogue, although dialogue for over two-decades bore no results.
“Guyana brought the matter to the Court in an application submitted on 29 March 2018. The Court confirmed jurisdiction over Guyana’s claims, rejecting Venezuela’s objections in a judgement issued on 18 December 2020. This assures that it will be the court, with the final and binding effect of the parties Guyana and Venezuela whether the 1899 arbitral award establishing the international boundary between the two states was lawfully issued remains legally valid and permanently binding as a matter of international law,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement today.
Over the weekend, the Venezuelan government objected to statements made by President Irfaan Ali, during his recent UN General Assembly speech and has dispatched a Communique with its dissatisfaction.
The Guyana government said today that it is confident that the ICJ will rule in its favor.
“Guyana is optimistic that the Court will decide the case in its favour and that the validity of the arbitral award and the boundary will be upheld. In the meantime, it is dedicating all of its efforts to the achievement of this outcome,” the Foreign Ministry further noted.
While Venezuela said it is committed to the peaceful settlement of the controversy, there has been various incidents and actions by Venezuela, that continue to raise concern.