Good Offices Mediation Effort to Resolve Guyana-Venezuela Border Controversy Will Be Extended for One Year, Secretary-General Informs Presidents

SG/SM/18376
16 December 2016

Good Offices Mediation Effort to Resolve Guyana-Venezuela Border Controversy Will Be Extended for One Year, Secretary-General Informs Presidents

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General has informed President David Granger of the Republic of Guyana and President Nicolás Maduro of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela of his conclusions on what constitute the most appropriate next steps for the resolution of the controversy between the two countries.

By the Geneva Agreement of 17 February 1966, Guyana and Venezuela have referred to the Secretary-General the decision as to means of settlement of the controversy that has arisen as the result of the Venezuelan contention that the Arbitral Award of 1899 about the frontier between Venezuela and what is now Guyana is null and void.

The Secretary-General has concluded that the present Good Offices Process, which has been conducted since 1990, will continue for one final year, until the end of 2017, with a strengthened mandate of mediation.

He has also reached the conclusion that if, by the end of 2017, the Secretary-General concludes that significant progress has not been made towards arriving at a full agreement for the solution of the controversy, he will choose the International Court of Justice as the next means of settlement, unless the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela jointly request that he refrain from doing so.

The Secretary-General has discussed these conclusions with the Secretary-General-designate, who has expressed his concurrence with them.

The Secretary-General-designate will appoint a new Personal Representative to conduct the Good Offices Process on his behalf soon after taking office.  The last Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Norman Girvan of Jamaica, passed away in April 2014.  The Secretary-General has since engaged in intensive high-level efforts to find a way forward that would be most conducive to arriving at a solution of the controversy.

For information media. Not an official record.