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UN team arrives to explore another means of settling Guyana- Venezuela border controversy

A United Nations (UN) will from Saturday begin a fact-finding mission to Guyana to explore another way of settling the decades-old border controversy with Venezuela, the Foreign Ministry announced Friday night.

The UN Mission is led by Chief of the Americas Division, Department of Political Affairs of the United Nations.

The mission, which will meet with top government and opposition representatives, wraps up its work in Georgetown on September 2, 2015.

“The mission is in keeping with the Secretary General’s undertaking to conduct such an examination after Guyana formally indicated that after 25 years of the Good Offices process no solution to the controversy that arose as a result of Venezuela’s contention had been found and that it was time to invoke another means of settlement,” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.

The past and current governments have said that it was time for the controversy over the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award to be settled by the International Court of Justice.

While in Guyana, the representatives of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon are expected to meet with Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge, Former Guyana Facilitator in the Good Officer Process Ralph Ramkarran, and former Foreign Ministers-Sir Shridath Ramphal, Rashleigh Jackson and Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett. The mission will also meet with former Directors General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassadors Rudy Collins and Elisabeth Harper as well as former Guyana Defence Force Chief of Staff Retired Major General Joseph Singh.

The UN Secretary General is hoping to broker a meeting with President David Granger and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro on the margins of the UN General Assembly to be held in September.

Venezuela is laying claim to the mineral and forest-rich Essequibo Region and all of the Atlantic Sea off the Essequibo Region.