Today we received a unanimous and binding ruling by the International Court of Justice in response to Guyana’s request for the indication of provisional measures in the case of the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana V. Venezuela).
This ruling affirms Guyana’s right to administer and control the Essequibo Region as an integral part of our sovereign territory and requires Venezuela to refrain from taking any action which would interfere with our exercise of this right, pending the final decision of the Court. We commend the court’s insistence on emphasizing the imperative of stability and the refraining from action likely to further aggravate the dispute.
Even as we welcome the Court’s decision today and glean from it some measure of comfort and assurance, it is important that we remember that securing our sovereignty and territorial integrity is not an event, it is a process – a process to which your strength and solidarity are crucial.
We are grateful for the support of the international community and our international partners, regionally and further afield. At a time when the troubling ethos of “might equals right” threatens to dominate the interactions between nation states, we are heartened by the assurances of their commitment to the due process of law and respect for national territorial sovereignty.
We call on Venezuela to respect the ruling of the Court and to demonstrate its commitment to the peaceful coexistence of States and the maintenance of this region as a zone of peace.
In defending the sovereignty of our great nation, we must remain united, as Guyanese first, and we must do all within our respective powers to ensure the preservation of this unity. We in the APNU+AFC Parliamentary Opposition will continue to offer our support in this regard.
Long live the Cooperative Republic of Guyana!
Hon. Amanza Walton-Desir, MP
Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation