Oct 12, 2015 News
Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon made a brief stop-over in Guyana yesterday en route to New York, USA after attending the Peoples World Conference on Climate Change and Defence of Life in Cochabamba, Bolivia on October 10. That Conference was hosted by President Evo Morales.
The Secretary General was met on arrival by Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge.
They took the opportunity to discuss issues arising out of the Bolivia meeting and related matters on climate change.
They also discussed the upcoming Summit to be held in Paris in December.
The UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Khadija Musa was also present to greet the Secretary General. The Foreign Minister took the opportunity to express the appreciation of the Government for the valuable contribution of the UN Agencies based in Guyana to the national development agenda.
The follow up process outlined by the Secretary General at his meeting with the Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly on September 28, was reiterated.
Meanwhile, a six member team led by the Chef de Cabinet of the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ms. Susana Malcorra will be in Guyana today to continue discussions relating to the controversy resulting from Venezuela’s contention that the 1899 Arbitral Award is null and void.
According to Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge, this is a follow up to the visit paid by a UN Technical Mission in July, and is in accordance with the programme of activities laid out by the UN Secretary General following his meeting with the Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly on September 28, last.
The controversy between the two South American countries stems from an 1899 arbitration ruling that required Venezuela to relinquish an undeveloped but resource-rich jungle territory called the Essequibo that now constitutes about two-thirds of Guyanese territory.
Venezuela now contends that the ruling was invalid, and that many official maps still describe the Essequibo as Venezuelan territory.
Over the past four months, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has issued decrees claiming rights over Guyana’s exclusive economic zone. This is in addition to reviving its claims on the majority of Essequibo, Guyana’s biggest county. The decrees give Venezuela’s gunboats permission to unilaterally patrol in Guyana’s waters, angering the new administration and sparking a flurry of complaints to the international bodies.
The decrees came in wake of the announcement of a significant oil find by American Company Exxon Mobil Corp., just 100 miles off of the Stabroek Block.
In his address to the Parliament earlier this year, President Granger said that “Guyana has always embraced the principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes. But in as much as we are a peace-loving nation, we will not allow our territorial integrity to be threatened or violated.”
Both countries have since agreed for the UN to help in resolving the border controversy.
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