President Irfaan Ali has welcomed the unanimous ruling by the International Court of Justice, granting provisional orders that prohibits Venezuela from taking any action that would modify the situation that currently prevails in Essequibo region.
In a statement, President Ali said the Court has made clear that Venezuela is prohibited from annexing or trespassing upon Guyanese territory or taking any other actions – regardless of the outcome of its referendum on December 3 – that would alter the status quo in which Guyana administers and controls the Essequibo Region, as an integral part of its sovereign territory, under the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899.
The President said the ruling is legally binding on Venezuela, adding that both the UN Charter and the Statute of the Court, to which Venezuela is a Party, require its strict compliance.
“This is an opportunity for Venezuela to join Guyana in demonstrating respect for international law and the principles that govern peaceful coexistence. Guyana remains steadfast in its commitment to the international judicial process and the rule of law. It is fully confident that, when the ICJ issues its final Judgment on the merits of the case, it will conclude that the Essequibo is legally and rightfully Guyanese territory”, President Ali said in a statement.
He added that the Government believes that justice, not force, should be the arbiter of international disputes.
According to President Ali, “to this end, we affirm our dedication to pursuing a peaceful, legal resolution to this dispute in the right and proper place – the ICJ – as authorized by the UN Secretary-General in the exercise of his powers under the Geneva Agreement of 1966.”
The President, who is attending the Climate Change Conference in Dubai and is expected to return to Guyana on Saturday said Guyana remains grateful to the international community for its support.
He stated that “the solidarity of the international community with Guyana has been invaluable. We appeal to our sister countries of CARICOM and the broader international community to continue supporting the principles of justice and international law in relation to the controversy over Guyana’s border with Venezuela. Our collective voice can serve as a beacon for the respect of the United Nations Charter, the rule of law and the peaceful settlement of disputes.”
In his statement, President Ali said that as Guyana prepares to join the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member, it is conscious of the responsibility that comes with this role to encourage and support international peace and stability and the rule of law.
The President said Guyana encourages all peace-loving nations to insist on Venezuelan respect for the Charter of the United Nations and the UN’s highest court.
Venezuela intends to still go ahead with its planned referendum on Sunday, but has been blocked by the Court from taking any action as a result of that referendum in relation to the Essequibo region.