Border controversy: Guyana “well supported” at UNSC meeting on Venezuela’s aggression – Foreign Secretary

…Venezuela UN rep tells meeting no plans to occupy Essequibo

…as UK warns Venezuela against further provocative actions

The recent closed door United National Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Venezuela’s escalating aggression against Guyana, despite both countries agreeing to avoid actions that can inflame the border controversy, resulted in much support being expressed for Guyana’s position.
It had been reported that the UNSC would meet on Tuesday, to discuss the escalating tensions in the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy. The meeting came about after an April 5 letter from President Dr. Irfaan Ali, bringing the council’s attention to Venezuela’s continued provocations.
In a brief interview with this publication following the meeting, Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud noted that Guyana’s position was well supported by the UNSC.
“I think Guyana’s position was well supported… that’s all I would say. Guyana’s position was well supported and understood, by the entire council,” the Foreign Secretary explained to this publication.
According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Guyana’s permanent UN Representative, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, made a presentation to the council at the meeting. The Diplomat listed all of the actions Venezuela has taken to threaten peace, breaching international law and the Argyle Declaration both countries signed last year.
“In her remarks, she provided a thorough overview of the history of the border controversy, and highlighted the actions that have been taken by Venezuela in contravention of diplomatic agreements, including the Argyle Declaration, and international law, including the legally binding orders of the International Court of Justice. She emphasized Guyana’s commitment to peace, the rule of law and to the resolution of the controversy through the International Court of Justice,” the Ministry said.
Further, Rodrigues-Birkett reminded the council, of which Guyana is a non-permanent member, of its responsibility to ensure the rule of law and adherence to the UN Charter. She also called on the council stress on Venezuela the need to be responsible and act within the confines of the 1966 Geneva Agreement.
“Ambassador Rodrigues-Birkett emphasized the Council’s responsibility to ensure respect for the rule of law and adherence to the fundamental principles of the UN Charter. She called on the Council to impress on Venezuela the need to pursue a peaceful settlement of the controversy by the ICJ, as it is bound to do by the 1966 Geneva Agreement.”
No occupation plans
This publication was reliably informed that Venezuela’s representative to the UN, Samuel Moncada Acosta, delivered remarks to the council in which he ruled out any plans by Venezuela to occupy Essequibo. Haiti was present at the meeting on behalf of CARICOM and also made remarks.
The United Kingdom, a permanent member of the UNSC, meanwhile issued a statement on X in which they rejected any unilateral actions by Venezuela to disrupt peace in the region. Further, the UK urged those with influence on Venezuela to discourage any further provocative actions.
“Essequibo is recognized internationally as being part of Guyana. The border was settled in 1899 through international arbitration. The President of Guyana, Irfaan Ali, requested a meeting of the UN Security Council, saying “we will not countenance the annexation, seizure or occupation of any part of our sovereign territory.”
“The UK will continue to call for Guyana’s territorial integrity to be respected, in accordance with the UN Charter. Venezuela cannot act unilaterally to disrupt the peace of the region. We urge those with influence on Venezuela to discourage any further provocative action,” the UK also wrote.
President Dr Irfaan Ali dispatched an April 5 letter to the Council invoking Article 35 (1) of the UN Charter. Further, it was explained that Assistant Secretary General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas, Miroslav Jenča, would provide the brief during the meeting. Additionally, it was noted that members of the UNSC are expected to urge Venezuela to follow the Argyle Declaration.
In the letter requesting the meeting, Ali cited the “Organic Law for the Defense of Guayana Esequiba”, which Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro signed on April 3. He warned that this action “cements Venezuela’s intent to annex more than two-thirds of Guyana’s sovereign territory and make it part of Venezuela”.
Maduro had described the law as the implementation of the results of the December 3, 2023 referendum. He added that the law “establishes the creation of state number 24, the state of Guayana Esequiba within the political and territorial organisation of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”. The law also reiterated Venezuela’s rejection of the validity of the 1899 Paris Arbitral Award and the ICJ’s jurisdiction on the matter.
It was only on Monday that Venezuela finally submitted its counter-memorial on the border controversy case to the ICJ – the very last day the World Court had given the country to do so. Ironically enough, members of the Venezuelan Diaspora in the Netherlands were on hand to protest and boo the Venezuelan entourage as they left the Peace Palace. (G3)