After his first outing to the United Nations, President David Granger is confident that “Guyana’s place in the international community has been more clearly defined.”
This follows a strong statement to the United Nations General Assembly and several bilateral meetings he held with leaders of large and small states to drum up support for Guyana. The President was clear in his speech that the United Nations cannot sit back while its charters are being breached with impunity. “Venezuela is in breach of the charter of the United Nations, and all I’m calling for is for the United Nations to insist that its charter be observed and that if it is not observed by any state or group of states, that state should be sanctioned,” the President told the Guyanese media at a press conference in New York. “The whole world knows that Venezuela has been putting pressure on us.
“I am calling on the United Nations to respect its own resolution of 1994 and act more proactively and prevent Venezuela from breaching the charter of the United Nations. “It can implement mechanisms to demand that Venezuela refrain from using force, because it’s there in black and white. “The charter of the United Nations is our constitution; it’s the supreme law of the UN.”
President Granger and his team have met with a number of leaders from small and large states as part of the process of making them aware of the threats Guyana faces on the border and to garner support ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta this November. “While the UN sits back and operates as it does, Venezuela has occupied half of Ankoko, nothing has happened. Venezuela has seized the Teknik Perdana (the petroleum exploration ship which was commandeered to Margarita island two years ago), nothing has happened and Venezuela by way of various actions has been able to prevent development in Guyana,” Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge added.
Mr Greenidge added that the decree of the Venezuelan leader of May 26 this year sought to annex the country’s maritime resources. Maritime resources he said is managed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, but “the United Nations has said absolutely nothing in this regard, although the Venezuelan action, backed by force, actually conflicts with the rules of that Convention.”
As such he said, the United Nations is not “doing what they are supposed to do,” and the President’s message to the United Nations General Assembly was for that to be changed. President Granger would now be looking to new diplomats he will appoint over the coming weeks to solidify the gains made at the UN General Assembly. “The next breed of Guyanese diplomats must be able to propel our economic diplomacy much more quickly than it is being propelled currently,” Mr Granger said.
He said the economic viability of Guyana is paramount, but “this does not mean we will not pay attention to the specific strategic threats we face because that has an economic side,” he said, referring to the border controversy which has been “hindering development.” “So we’re looking for Ambassadors who can sell Guyana, not only rum and rice, but also bring foreign direct investment into our country,” the President stated.
By Neil Marks in New York