UN Secretary General updates Security Council on ICJ provisional orders

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United Nations (UN) Secretary General, António Guterres, has transmitted the notice of the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice in the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy, to the UN Security Council.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, and comes in wake of Venezuela’s move to enforce a December 3 referendum on Guyana’s Essequibo Region, which violates the ICJ ruling. 

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General.

“The Secretary General strongly supports the use of solely peaceful means to settle international disputes,” related Dujarric. He pointed out too that the Secretary General recalled that pursuant to the Charter and to the status of the ICJ, “decisions of the Court are binding” and trust that both states will comply with the orders of the ICJ.  

The Court on Friday ruled that Venezuela shall refrain from actions that would compromise Guyana’s administration and control of the Essequibo territory. The ruling was made in response to Guyana’s request for measures to block questions from Venezuela’s December 3 referendum that seek to annex the Essequibo region.

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In blatant disregard for the World Court’s ruling, President Nicolás Maduro on Tuesday unveiled a revised map of his nation, incorporating the Essequibo region. Alongside this, he issued directives for the formation of fresh administrative bodies responsible for issuing licenses for oil, gas, and mineral exploration in the Essequibo area. Furthermore, he put forth a proposal for enacting legislation aimed at establishing designated environmentally protected zones, potentially serving as hubs for tourism and preserving biodiversity.

In a sharp response, Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, condemned the move in a late-night address to the nation on Tuesday, pointing out that it is a direct threat to Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and is in violation of the United Nations and Organisation of American States Charters. He expressed grave concern over these developments, emphasizing Guyana’s commitment to safeguard its territory by intensifying precautionary measures.

Ali said the Guyanese government is engaging international stakeholders, alerting the Secretary General of the UN and other world leaders about Venezuela’s threatening actions, considered a flagrant breach of international law. Guyana has sought support from several key allies and international bodies, including CARICOM, the OAS, the Commonwealth, the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and France.

Guyana-Venezuela land boundary was settled 124 years ago

The ICJ has affirmed its jurisdiction twice to address the controversy between Venezuela and Guyana, offering the potential for a final, binding, and equitable settlement under international law. But despite participating in the ICJ proceedings, Venezuela has been attempting to deviate from the process.


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