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Commonwealth heads set to ratify support of Guyana in dispute with Venezuela

The Commonwealth continues to stand behind the government of Guyana in the border controversy with Venezuela.

In addition to stating its wholehearted support of Guyana in several communiqués since the resurgence of the issue, by Venezuela, the organisation is set to consider and ratify a declaration in support of Guyana’s stance at its upcoming heads of government meeting in Malta, from November 27 to 29.

According to minister of foreign affairs, Carl Greenidge, who will be attending the meeting, alongside President David Granger, the declaration is one compiled by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) comprising foreign ministers from nine member countries.

He explained that it was assembled after Guyana reached out to the Commonwealth in May of this year. Guyana had reported to the group that Venezuela had made a decree that purported to annex all of Guyana’s territorial sea, its exclusive economic zone and its continental shelf.

“...these are illegalities and therefore, we drew it to their attention and the Commonwealth secretary general condemned the action. He restated the Commonwealth support for borders of Guyana that are based on a treaty that Guyana itself was a party to, and which Venezuela falsely tells the public that it is a treaty that is null and void,” the minister said.

He noted, “Nobody has decided that the treaty is null and void except for Venezuela, and until such time as a lawful body pronounces on it, Venezuela has no right to be making these claims.”

For its part, Greenidge noted that the Commonwealth, having been apprised of Guyana’s controversy with Venezuela, has over the years included the issue of the controversy on its heads of government meeting agenda as a matter of form.

“We do not have to arrive each year and ask for it to be examined, it is on the agenda and, they have been reporting biennially,” he said. He expressed that what makes this forthcoming meeting different is the declaration that would be laid by the CMAG.

Greenidge explained that this group looked at the matter and reported on it on the margins of the UN General Assembly. He said that they then prepared a declaration that was approved and this, he said, is the declaration that is now to be presented at the heads of government meeting for consideration.

He pointed out, however, that, on the basis of the events that would have taken place since September and October when the report was compiled and reported on at the UN General Assembly, in considering the declaration at the heads of government meeting; chances are that the declaration may be modified.

In addition to the Guyana-Venezuela controversy, the Commonwealth heads meeting also has as part of its agenda the selection of a new secretary general, discussion on climate actions, violent extremism and radicalisation, the unprecedented challenges presented by migration, and the implementation of the UN 2015-2030 sustainable development goals, among others.

Courtesy: Caribbean News Now

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