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Venezuela rejects UN’s referral of border controversy to World Court

United Nations Secretary General’s High Representative and President Nicolas Maduro in talks.

Venezuela on Wednesday rejected the decision by United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres to refer the border controversy with Guyana to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, faithful to its historical tradition and in accordance with the Bolivarian Diplomacy of Peace, reiterates its firm disposition to defend the territorial integrity of our Homeland and maintain political negotiation based on the 1966 Geneva Accord, as the only way to reach a peaceful solution, practical and satisfactory for both parties and in favor of our Peoples,” the Venezuelan government said in a statement.

Instead, the President Nicolas Maduro-led administraton insisted that it preferred bilateral negotiations between Guyana in keeping with its interpretation of the 1966 Geneva Agreement.

That agreement also empowers the United Nations Secretary General to refer the controversy to the ICJ.

Gutteres said he decided to send the controversy to the ICJ because there was no significant progress made in high-level negotiations by his personal representative. Dag Nylander.

The UN Chief also provided for a Good Offices process while the matter engages the ICJ.

Guyana has been pushing for the controversy over the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award to be taken to the ICJ because the decades-long mediation process has failed, while Venezuela continued to obstruct or object to investments in onshore and offshore natural resource projects.

Following is the full text of the statement, in an imperfect translation from Spanish to English, issued by the Venezuelan government.

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, informs the international community and the Venezuelan people, that on January 30, 2018, it received a communication from the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, about the negotiation process on the controversy. with the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

Through this communication, the Secretary General of the United Nations reports the following:

· After a brief review of the negotiation process developed during the year 2017, recommends the International Court of Justice as the next means to be used for the solution of the Territorial Dispute between Venezuela and Guyana by the Essequibo territory. Additionally, he considered that the Government of Venezuela and Guyana could benefit from continuity in the Good Offices of the UN.

In this regard, the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela informs the Venezuelan people and the world of the following:

· Venezuela ratifies the full validity of the Geneva Agreement of February 17, 1966, signed and ratified between our country and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in consultation with the Government of British Guiana, an international treaty that governs as Law the Territorial Controversy between the parties, validly recognized and registered before the UN, the only way to the definitive solution on this opprobrious heritage of the British colonialism.

· Venezuela duly recorded its strong opposition to the letter of December 15, 2016, signed by the former Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, warning that the criteria contained in it exceeded the powers granted to its investiture, contravening the spirit, purpose and reason of the Geneva Agreement and the principle of equity concluded between the parties.

· The Secretary General’s communication goes beyond the successive nature of the means of peaceful settlement established by the Geneva Agreement as a methodology established to reach an acceptable, practical and satisfactory solution to the dispute.

· During the year 2017, Venezuela maintained its historical position in the process of good offices of the UN Secretary General, privileging the high national interest and the permanent vindication of the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Venezuelan people over the territory of Guayana Esequiba.

· These negotiations were conducted with jealous confidentiality as an essential rule of the good offices process, by agreement between the parties and with the United Nations.

· It is worth asking the reasons that the International Court of Justice recommended to two States that do not recognize their jurisdiction, since the Geneva Agreement itself provides for the political means for the settlement of the territorial dispute. In this sense, Venezuela ratifies in a decisive and unequivocal manner the negotiation process under these means.

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, faithful to its historical tradition and in accordance with the Bolivarian Diplomacy of Peace, reiterates its firm disposition to defend the territorial integrity of our Homeland and maintain political negotiation based on the 1966 Geneva Accord, as the only way to reach a peaceful solution, practical and satisfactory for both parties and in favor of our Peoples.

The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, guarantees the Venezuelan people that they will continue defending the sovereign rights over Guayana Esequiba and calls for national unity to protect the most sacred interests of the Homeland.

The sun of Venezuela born in the Essequibo