Dec 02, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Commonwealth have issued strong statements urging Venezuela to respect the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) order on the border controversy case pending the outcome of the substantive matter.
The ICJ on Friday ordered Venezuela not to take any action to challenge, disrupt or interfere with Guyana’s longstanding control and administration of the Essequibo Region, which constitutes more than two-thirds of Guyana’s land territory, until the Court has issued its final Judgment on which State enjoys sovereignty over that territory.
In a statement, CARICOM noted that Venezuela cannot by a referendum, or otherwise, violate international law and disregard the Order of the world’s highest Court.
“CARICOM expects Venezuela to uphold the ICJ’s Order of 1 December 2023. It also insists that Venezuela complies with international law in all respects, and the Charter of the United Nations, and, in this connection, calls on it to take no actions in violation of them.”
CARICOM reminded further that the Venezuela-Guyana controversy is properly before the ICJ by the decision of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for ‘final settlement’, pursuant to the provisions of the 1966 Geneva Agreement to which both Venezuela and Guyana are bound.
“CARICOM demands that Venezuela pursue its claims within the law and the legal process. Further, CARICOM demands that the Caribbean be respected as a Zone of Peace and that nothing should be done to disrupt the tranquillity of the Region, which is essential to the economic prosperity and social well-being of all countries of CARICOM and Latin America,” the statement added.
Similarly, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland KC, issued a statement offering the Commonwealth’s full support to Guyana.
The statement noted that: “The Commonwealth reiterates our collective faith in due process, respect for national territorial sovereignty, international law, global order, peace and security and cordial international relations in the Caribbean and the Latin American region.”
Additionally the Commonwealth called on all members of the United Nations to encourage the parties to respect the integrity, sanctity and binding nature of the decisions of the ICJ in this matter and the provisional measures under Article 41 of the Statute of the ICJ that have binding effect and create international legal obligations for parties.
“The Commonwealth unequivocally condemns any action likely to breach the peace in the region,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, President Irfaan Ali said in response to the ruling that the Court has made clear, that Venezuela is prohibited from annexing or trespassing upon Guyanese territory or taking any other actions – regardless of the outcome of its referendum on December 3 – that would alter the status quo in which Guyana administers and controls the Essequibo Region, as an integral part of its sovereign territory, under the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899.
“Today’s ruling is legally binding on Venezuela. Both the UN Charter and the Statute of the Court, to which Venezuela is a Party, require its strict compliance.”
He added that “This is an opportunity for Venezuela to join Guyana in demonstrating respect for international law and the principles that govern peaceful coexistence.”
According to the President, “Guyana remains steadfast in its commitment to the international judicial process and the rule of law. It is fully confident that, when the ICJ issues its final Judgment on the merits of the case, it will conclude that the Essequibo is legally and rightfully Guyanese territory.”
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