Opposition Leader David Granger is urging the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish a permanent National Borders Commission to boost institutional strengthening on issues regarding Guyana’s territorial integrity.
Granger had proposed that the Commission be established during his January 2012 meeting with Professor Norman Girvan who was recently reappointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Personal Representative to support him in his role as the UN Good Officer in the Guyana-Venezuela border matter. Granger had also recommended that the Commission should take responsibility for accumulating data and documents on territorial matters, a press release from APNU said.
Granger’s recommendation comes in the wake of the seizure by the Venezuelan army of an unarmed, scientific survey vessel conducting oil-related exploration in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone with permission from the Government of Guyana.
He expressed the view that insufficient attention was being paid to Guyana’s border relations with Suriname, Brazil and Venezuela and contends that there needs to be “greater institutional strengthening of the capability and capacity of the Government of Guyana and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to research and respond to challenges and to safeguard this country’s territorial integrity.”
The opposition leader also called for the reactivation of the Foreign Service Institute in order to allow for the continuous conduct of post-graduate level training courses, seminars and workshops for foreign service and defence force officers and international relations students.