Territorial controversy, oil & gas high on Guyana’s agenda for UN debate

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Opening of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly on September 18, 2018

Guyana will be placing high priority on its ongoing territorial controversy with Venezuela, oil and gas related matters, and several other issues at the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly Session currently taking place at UN Headquarters in New York.

Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, will on Tuesday join Heads of State and Government to discuss ways to make the United Nations more relevant in the 21st century, the foreign ministry said in a press release on Monday.

Mr. Greenidge is leading a delegation to participate in the UN Debate which is annually convened by the world body. This year, Member States will frame their remarks around the theme, “Making the United Nations relevant to all people: global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies”.

The Guyanese foreign minister is scheduled to address the General Debate on Friday, September 28.

Guyana’s priority issues at this year’s Session are the Guyana/Venezuela controversy, climate change, green state agenda, oil and gas issues, and the reform of the UN Security Council, the press release said.

Over the next several days, the delegation, which includes Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, should be engaging with a number of partners, such as Norway and Côte d’Ivoire, on a bilateral level.

Significantly, while in New York, the team is also slated to meet with United Nations Secretary-General Antόnio Guterres.

Before departing Guyana, Mr Greenidge indicated that the opportunity will be provided to Guyana to meet Mr. Guterres to discuss developments relating to the Guyana/Venezuela controversy, following the latter’s decision to refer the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Furthermore, Guyana is one of several countries elected as Vice-President of this Session.

Also elected were Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Iraq, Japan, Namibia, Panama, Qatar, San Marino, Spain, Sudan and Ukraine, along with five permanent Members of the Security Council — China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States.

Mr Greenidge on Monday presided over the afternoon session of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, which is being held to mark the late South African icon’s 100th birth anniversary and to promote the ideals and values that he promulgated.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said other meetings and events in which Guyana will participate on the margins of the General Assembly Session include the CARICOM Council of Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) and the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting.

The 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly opened on September 18.