Venezuela objection to Guyana’s continental shelf submission regrettable – Caricom Foreign Ministers
Caricom foreign ministers who convened in Suriname on May 3-4 have described Venezuela’s objection to Guyana’s application for an extended continental shelf as regrettable.
In their communique after the 15th meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations, the ministers noted that Venezuela had tendered an objection to Guyana’s submission made to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, pursuant to Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Noting that there is no territorial dispute between Guyana and Venezuela, since the Arbitral Award of 1899 established the land boundary between both States, the communique said that the Council expressed the hope that the Commission would consider Guyana’s Submission.
“The Council reiterated the Community’s support for the maintenance of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Guyana and expressed the hope that the recent regrettable action of the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela would not affect the otherwise exceptionally good relations that exist between Guyana and Venezuela. The Council further took note of the continued confidence that both States have in the Good Offices Process of the United Nations Secretary General under the Geneva Agreement of 1966”, the communique said.
In March this year, Guyana had said that the objection by Caracas to the application for an extension of its continental shelf was “deeply regrettable”.
The statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said:
“The Government of Guyana wishes to make clear that Guyana’s Submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), pursuant to Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (the Convention), was done in a manner fully consistent with the provisions of international law, including the Convention. The Submission itself was made without prejudice to maritime delimitation with other States in accordance with the provisions of Article 76 (10) of the Convention. The decision of the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to object to Guyana’s Submission to the CLCS is therefore deeply regrettable.
“In recognition of the fact that the boundary with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was definitively settled by the Arbitral Award of 3rd October 1899, Guyana informed the CLCS, in its Submission, that “there are no disputes in the region relevant to this Submission of data and information relating to the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.” That statement remains legally and factually correct.”
On April 11th this year Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett made an oral presentation in support of Guyana’s submission for an extended continental shelf to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.