Venezuela rejects decision of the International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice announced on Friday that it has jurisdiction over the border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela and will accordingly examine the case, which dates back more than 100 years.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela repudiated the ruling issued this Friday by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in which it assures that the body has jurisdiction over the Essequibo controversy.

“Venezuela repudiates the ruling issued by the International Court of Justice and claims the validity of the Geneva Agreement,” says the statement read by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jorge Arreaza.

According to international media, with 20 votes in favor and four votes against, the International Court of Justice declared itself competent in the case of the Arbitration Award of 1899, Guyana against Venezuela.

The communiqué highlights that the Geneva Agreement “is the only existing restrictive bilateral norm, applicable to settle, through friendly negotiations, the territorial dispute.”

“The ICJ commits an incomprehensible and unusual error, not only in terms of the consent not given by Venezuela to said jurisdiction,” said the Venezuelan Chancellor in the text. Likewise, he emphasized that “Venezuela has been and is willing to commit itself to such friendly negotiations to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement.”

The Arbitration Award of Paris, of October 3, 1899 was the first pronouncement to solve the conflict over the Essequibo, this document was adopted by an arbitration tribunal created especially to hear the matter.

Since then, Venezuela has sought a friendly solution and negotiations on the territory, through the Geneva Agreement, which established the creation of a Mixed Commission to negotiate a satisfactory solution for the practical settlement of the dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the Essequibo.

According to this agreement, if an agreement is not reached, the pact provides that the parties exhaust the means of conflict resolution established in article 33 of the UN Charter.

Despite the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s rejection of the ICJ’s ruling, it must now assess whether the arbitration award, favorable to Guyana, is valid or not.