Venezuela has submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) a Preliminary Objection to the admissibility of the ongoing border controversy case with Guyana, resulting in a suspension of the hearing, Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.
Now, the Guyana government is saying the Spanish-speaking nation of attempting to delay the ICJ’s final judgment on the merits of the case.
In a statement, Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said it will be submitting to the ICJ its own observations as soon as possible.
The Ministry noted that Venezuela has previously not recognised the jurisdiction of the ICJ to even consider the case. So, the fact that they have submitted objections “at this advanced stage of the proceedings” represents a deliberate attempt to prevent a timely end to the matter, the Ministry said.
Nevertheless, by way of making the objection, Venezuela has how joined the judicial proceedings – a move that was welcomed by the Guyana government as it long urged its neighbour to do.
“The Ministry emphasizes that, at all times, Guyana has steadfast adhered to the rule of international law and the rules and procedures of the ICJ with regard to this matter, and we will continue to do so,” the government outlined in the statement.
The two neighboring nations have been embroiled in a controversy regarding the Arbitral Award of 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela). Venezuela had started clamouring more about its claim for Guyana’s Essequibo region when oil discoveries by ExxonMobil in the offshore Stabroek block started to pile up. So, Guyana approached the Court in March 2018 asking it to rule on the validity of an 1899 pact that effectively settled the matter.