UN envoy meets with Ministers of Guyana, Venezuela to help resolve border dispute

21 October 2013

A United Nations envoy has presented a plan to move forward the long-standing border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.

According to a note today from a UN spokesperson, Norman Girvan, the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General on the border dispute, had “very productive separate meetings” on 17 October with the Foreign Ministers of Guyana, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, and Venezuela, Elías Jaua.

The Ministers emphasized the excellent bilateral relations that currently exist between the two States, the readout noted, and welcomed Mr. Girvan’s initiative, which includes a schedule of meetings “to move the process forward over the coming months.”

The UN spokesperson said that Mr. Girvan appreciated the confidence that the Ministers put in the Good Offices process.

“He looks forward to providing the Ministers with suggestions in the coming weeks, and discussing them with each of the Foreign Ministers in the near future,” the note said.

At issue is the disputed Essequibo region, which since 1899 has functioned as a territory administered by Guyana but is claimed by Venezuela.

The dispute over the region resurfaced last year when Guyana asked the Organization to extend its continental shelf.

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