Brussels, 25 January 2021/OACPS: The Secretary-General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), H.E. Mr Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, is concerned about the escalation of the dispute between the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela following the issuance of a decree by the President of Venezuela claiming exclusive sovereign rights for Venezuela in the waters and seabed adjacent to Guyana’s coast, west of the Essequibo River.

Secretary-General Chikoti deplores the action taken by Venezuela and the rejection of the decision handed down by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 18 December 2020, which confirmed the jurisdiction of the ICJ to rule on the Arbitral Award of 1899 which delimits the frontier between then British Guiana and Venezuela.

The democratic values to which our countries adhere, suggest strict adherence to the decisions of the institutions to which we have entrusted the responsibility to arbitrate on our behalf. The Secretary-General invites the parties concerned to prioritise the settlement of the issue in a peaceful manner, in a spirit of good neighborliness and with respect for international law, in particular, the arbitration award and the decision of the International Court of Justice.