Elisabeth Harper appointed PS of Foreign Affairs Ministry

…Audrey Waddell redirected to Guyana-Venezuela border controversy case

Ambassador Elisabeth Harper

Ambassador and former Prime Ministerial Candidate Elisabeth Harper has been appointed to serve as Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Minister Hugh Todd confirmed.
Todd told Guyana Times on Tuesday night that Harper’s appointment was effective immediately and he welcomes her in her new role.
Harper is a career diplomat and had served in the post of Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a number of years until she resigned in 2015 to run as Prime Minister with the People’s Progressive Party/Civic.
She was later hired by the APNU/AFC coalition as an advisor.

Foreign Affairs Minister
Hugh Todd

When asked about Audrey Waddell, who was appointed PS previously, Todd said that her efforts will be redirected to the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), to which she is co-agent.
“The current PS was also the co-agent on the ICJ team for Guyana and the hearing commences on the 18th of December and we expect to get judgement on jurisdiction in favour of Guyana and after that, I think we will have a lot of work to do in terms of preparation for the case. In the meanwhile, I think she will be focused on that along with Former Minister and Foreign Secretary Carl Greenidge, who is also the leader for Guyana,” Todd related.
The Minister added that Waddell’s role will be more clearly defined in the coming days but as it stands, she has been redirected to ensure that Guyana receives a favourable outcome before the ICJ.
The ICJ is likely to rule by the end of 2020 on whether it has jurisdiction to hear the case filed by Guyana, which is asking for a final pronouncement on the validity of the Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899 (Guyana v Venezuela) regarding the boundary between the two countries.
On June 30, 2020, the ICJ, which has its headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, heard oral arguments via video conference from Guyana’s legal team headed by Sir Shridath Ramphal on the question of its jurisdiction to adjudicate in the matter.
The case is premised on a border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela in which the Spanish-speaking country has laid claim to more than two-thirds of Guyana’s landmass in the Essequibo region and a portion of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in which more than eight billion barrels of oil have been discovered.
On January 30, 2018, Secretary General Guterres determined that the good offices process had failed to achieve a peaceful settlement of the controversy. He then took a formal and binding decision, under Article IV, paragraph 2 of the Agreement, to choose a different means of settlement under Article 33 of the Charter.
On March 29, 2018, Guyana filed an application instituting proceedings against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. In its application, Guyana requested the Court to confirm the legal validity and binding effect of the Award regarding the boundary between the Colony of British Guiana and the United States of Venezuela, of October 3, 1899. (G2)