…Pres. Ali tells UN in face of Venezuela’s threats
Kaieteur News – In the face of recent threats by Venezuela, President Irfaan Ali told the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday Guyana will spare no effort in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Venezuelan on Tuesday mounted a protest against Guyana’s recently concluded oil blocks auction. In a statement by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the administration said, “The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela strongly rejects the illegal bidding round for oil blocks currently being carried out by the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana since it intends to have maritime areas pending delimitation between both countries.” It further noted that the Government of Guyana does not have sovereign rights over these maritime areas and consequently any action within their limits is a violation of international law, as long as they are not carried out through an agreement with Venezuela. The missive added, “The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reiterates that any illicit and arbitrary concession that Guyana grants, has granted or intends to grant in the areas in question is unacceptable and violates its sovereign rights, and warns that these actions do not generate any type of rights for third parties to participate in this process.”
President Ali however in a statement said that his administration is entitled to pursue economic development within the nation’s maritime borders. The President said, “The Government of Guyana reserves the right to pursue economic development activities in any portion of its sovereign or any appurtenant maritime territories. Any unilateral attempt by Venezuela to restrict the exercise by Guyana of its sovereignty and sovereign rights will be wholly in consistent with the Geneva Agreement and the rule of international law.”
Addressing the issue at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday President Ali told leaders that when he addressed the Organization of American States (OAS) last Friday, he recalled to that hemispheric body how Guyana was excluded from the OAS for 25 years from its birth as a nation, on account of a spurious territorial claim to two-thirds of “our homeland, by Venezuela. But justice prevailed, and Guyana was ultimately admitted.”
It is sad however; he said that fifty-seven years after Guyana’s Independence, we remain threatened. “Venezuela’s efforts to undermine our freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity are today before the International Court of Justice, as decided by the UN Secretary General under the Geneva Agreement of 1966. The ICJ’s jurisdiction in the matter has been twice affirmed by the Court. We are confident that Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity will also be affirmed when the Court issues its final judgment,” the Guyanese leader told the assembly.
“I regret to inform you that Venezuela’s threats continue. Just last night, Guyana received a very threatening message from Venezuela. It came in the form of a Communiqué attacking Guyana for putting certain oil blocks in our sovereign waters up for bid. Guyana considers this a threat to regional and international peace and security, as well as to Guyana’s investment partners,” President Ali told the UNGA. “We demand that Venezuela honours its obligation under the Charter to pursue only peaceful means to settle any disputes it may have with Guyana, including adjudication before the International Court of Justice. Allowing the Court to decide would ensure a resolution that is peaceful, equitable and in accordance with international law. Guyana will spare no effort in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Guyana and Venezuela are currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to address the latter’s spurious claims over the former’s sovereign territory. Such aspersions were raised by Venezuela after an ExxonMobil-led consortium marked its first discovery in the Stabroek Block, following which it blazed a trail of over 33 significant discoveries. The exploration success has not only catapulted Guyana to international stardom in the oil and gas arena but was responsible for generating significant interest in the country’s first oil blocks auction that featured 11 shallow water blocks and three deepwater concessions.
Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo and chief policymaker for Guyana’s oil sector said last week that eight of the 14 blocks received bids from six groups of companies. The companies that submitted bids include: Total Energies EP Guyana B.V, Qatar Energy International E&P LLC, & Petronas E&P Overseas Ventures SDN BHD (Malaysia); Delcorp Inc – Guyana, Watad Energy, Arabian Drillers (Saudia Arabia); Exxon Mobil Guyana Limited, HESS New Ventures Exploration Limited, and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited; Liberty Petroleum Corporation (USA) and , Cybele Energy Limited (Ghana); Sispro Inc. (Guyana); and lastly International Group Investment Inc. (Guyana), in joint venture with Montego Energy SA (London).
The Vice President did not state which companies made bids for certain blocks. Be that as it may, the official said, “We are very pleased with the offers that we had from the bid round (which closed September 12, 2023). The blocks that we did not receive bids for are D3, S1, S2, S6, S9, and S11. So that means some of the blocks are very competitive. A number of people are questioning whether this was a successful bid round or not but we are pleased with how the round has gone.”
He said the government is satisfied with the outcome, especially since the auction was held after the modernization of the legislative and regulatory framework. The chief policy maker for Guyana’s oil sector was pleased with the fact that authorities kept its promise to not conclude the bid round without new model Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) in place to govern deepwater and shallow water blocks. He also lauded the passage of the Petroleum Activities Law.
Ali also expressed appreciation to “every member of the international community that has continued to support Guyana’s efforts to preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity.” He said as Guyana takes its place next January as a member of the Security Council, those principles of international law and justice, so prominent in the Charter of the United Nations shall be its guide. “And so, I express heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming support of Member States to our candidature to the United Nations Security Council for the 2024-2025 term. I wish to assure the entire UN membership that Guyana is committed to working with fellow Council members and the wider UN membership to fulfill the mandate of the Security Council.” Reflecting on the state of growing insecurity in the world, President Ali reiterated the calls made by CARICOM for the early and urgent reform of the United Nations Security Council to make it more effective and inclusive.
Keep your eyes on Venezuela!
Dec 11, 2023Kaieteur Sports – Top brass officials from the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket West Indies (CWI), continued their logistical inspections in Guyana, this time at the Guyana...
Dec 11, 2023
Dec 11, 2023
Dec 11, 2023
Dec 10, 2023
Dec 10, 2023
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.