BREAKING: Guyana- Venezuela border controversy: UN mediation to continue for one year; World Court next if Good Officer process fails

Last Updated on Friday, 16 December 2016, 23:12 by Denis Chabrol

​The United Nations Secretary General has decided to give mediation in the Guyana- Venezuela border controversy one more year.

If it fails, the matter will be taken to the International Court of Justice also known as the World Court.

Following is the full text of the statement from the United Nations Secretary General’s Office

Fifty years ago, shortly before Guyana’s independence in 1966, the Geneva Agreement was signed with the aim  of amicably resolving the controversy that had arisen as the result of the Venezuelan contention that the Arbitral Award of 1899 about the frontier between Venezuela and what is now Guyana is null and void.  The 1966 Geneva Agreement confers on the Secretary-General of the United Nations the power to choose means of settlement of the controversy from among those that are contemplated in Article 33 of the United Nations Charter.

Within the framework of the Geneva Agreement, a Good Offices Process under the Secretary-General has been in place for the last 25 years in order to find a solution to the controversy.  This process has so far involved three Personal Representatives of the Secretary-General (PRSG).  In spite of these efforts, it has not been possible to bridge the differences between the parties.  

The Secretary-General has engaged in intensive efforts to find a way forward that would be most conducive to finding a solution.  To that end, the Secretary-General held a trilateral meeting with President David Granger of Guyana and President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela in the margins of the 70th General Assembly.  The Secretary-General has subsequently dispatched several high-level missions to both capitals and held meetings at the highest level with both parties.  In November of this year, he conducted an extensive stocktaking of the Good Offices Process.

On the basis of that stocktaking, the Secretary-General has reached the conclusion that the Good Offices Process will continue for one final year, with a new PRSG with a strengthened mandate of mediation, who will be appointed by the Secretary-General-designate shortly after he takes office.   If, by the end of 2017, the Secretary-General concludes that significant progress has not been made toward arriving at a full agreement for the solution of the controversy, he will choose the International Court of Justice as the next means of settlement, unless both parties jointly request that he refrain from doing so.

The Secretary-General has discussed these conclusions with the Secretary-General-designate, who has expressed his concurrence with them.

The Secretary-General and the Secretary-General-designate applaud Guyana and Venezuela for addressing the controversy through peaceful means.  The Secretary-General and the Secretary-General-designate are committed to see the controversy between Guyana and Venezuela resolved. 

New York, 16 December 2016