If Venezuela wants to boycott the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the territorial controversy it has with Guyana, then the APNU+AFC Government will ask the court to rule in favour of the country’s claim.

This response was issued minutes ago by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In its missive to the media, the Ministry stated that this call is provided for under Article 53 of the Statute of the court. That Article states, “Whenever one of the parties does not appear before the Court or fails to defend its case, the other Party may call upon the Court to decide in favour of its claim”.

In addition to this, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge attended a meeting convened by the Honourable Abdulqawi Abdul Yusuf, President of the ICJ today to discuss Guyana and Venezuela’s written pleadings in the Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899.

At that meeting, Minister Greenidge said that the Government of Guyana expressed its commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes in conformity with international law. He said that the government trusts that the ICJ, the judicial organ of the United Nations, will resolve the controversy with Venezuela in accordance with the law. It is hoped that in due course, Venezuela will reconsider its position and decide to appear in Court and defend its case.

“However, if Venezuela persists in its refusal to participate, the rules provide for the Court to proceed after a full hearing of the case, to a final judgment that is legally binding on both the participating and nonparticipating parties,” the Foreign Affairs Minister stated.

The Minister noted that Guyana fully respects the decision of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, to choose the ICJ as the means of settlement of the controversy. Greenidge said he is confident that the court is fully empowered to decide on the case.



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