by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): In an official statement from the United Nations from the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric on Guyana and Venezuela.
“The Secretary-General is following with concern the recent escalation of tension between Guyana and Venezuela over the border controversy between the two countries. He trusts that both parties will demonstrate good faith and avoid any action that would aggravate or extend the controversy.
In January 2018, after carefully analysing developments in the good offices process that had taken place over the preceding years, the Secretary-General, in the exercise of the power and responsibility conferred on him by the 1966 Geneva Agreement, chose the International Court of Justice as the means that was next to be used for the solution of the border controversy between the two countries. The controversy is now before the International Court of Justice. The Secretary-General does not express a view on matters that are the subject of ongoing judicial proceedings.”
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wants Venezuela and Guyana to refrain from “aggravating” the border dispute and instead to allow the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to “do its job” as the matter of the rightful ownership of the Essequibo region is before the court.
During the November 7 Prime Minister’s Press Conference, Hon. Dr Terrance Drew said St. Kitts and Nevis stand by the mandate of the Caribbean being a zone of peace, and there should be no compromise.
“CARICOM has put out a statement, I think that was seen, but as you know, St. Kitts and Nevis, we have relations with Guyana, and we have relations also with Venezuela. Just recently, we celebrated our 40th anniversary. Our position is that this region is a region of peace. And as I’ve said before, we will do all we can to [continue to keep] this region is a region of peace, and so I know that discussions are taking place. I’m not in a position to speak to all the specifics of those discussions, but the thrust of those discussions is to make sure that we remain a zone of peace and that the best position is reached to ensure that – that is where we are at with respect to opposition with Venezuela and Guyana. The Foreign Minister mentioned in his statement when he spoke at the small ceremony to commemorate the 40th year of established ties with respect to our relations between Venezuela and St. Kitts and Nevis. So that is a position that we will continue to make sure that we put our position forward and help in the process [so that] this area remains a zone of peace and the best position is reached with respect to these two nations, and we’re not going to compromise.”
On November 14, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hear Guyana’s request for provisional measures to be taken against Venezuela.
Venezuela will host a referendum on December 3 to decide whether it will annex two-thirds of Guyana.