Guyana, Venezuela to meet again on border controversy

-following UN encounter

After a two-day meeting on the border controversy between the two countries the Foreign Ministers of Guyana and Venezuela have decided to meet again sometime in the future.

The two ministers and their delegations met in New York on 28 and 29 October and had discussions facilitated by Dag Nylander, the Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

The discussion organized within the framework of the Good Offices mandate entrusted to the Secretary-General under the Geneva Agreement of 1966 came two months before the end-of-year deadline set by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for significant progress to be made in resolving the issue or the matter would be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

According to a note to correspondents posted by the United Nations News Centre yesterday and released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting saw the Foreign Ministers and their delegations exchanging views on issues related to the controversy with the aim of exploring options for a full agreement for its solution.

“They also reaffirmed their commitment to the Good Offices process and reiterated that their Governments will remain actively engaged with the Personal Representative. The parties agreed to meet again to continue discussions within this framework, and to explore options for the resolution of the border controversy,” the statement explains.

The Good Offices process continues to be pursued despite a request in 2015 by the Government of Guyana that the United Nations Secretary-General take steps toward a resolution of the controversy using an option from the menu as stated in the Geneva Agreement of 17 February 1966. It continued past 2016, when as a consequence of a stalemate on the matter, outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon agreed to continue to use the Good Offices Process until the end of 2017 as a means of arriving at a settlement and if not, a move to the ICJ, also known as the World Court in the Hague.

The Guyana Govern-ment has repeatedly stated its preference for a judicial settlement.  Venezuela wants to continue with the Good Offices process.

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