Guyana and Venezuela discuss dispute in UN workshop
(28 May 2012)
Officials from Guyana and Venezuela participated in a UN sponsored workshop on 16 May concerning their long running territorial dispute. Negotiations have been facilitated through the offices of the UN Secretary General, and his special representative Norman Girvan who was appointed in 2010 following the death of his predecessor Oliver Jackman in 2007 which led to a temporary halt in negotiations. The UN reported that the workshop examined various approaches to dispute resolution using examples from around the world. Dr. Girvan stated that discussions within the workshop took place in the context of "extremely friendly and cordial relations"
Venezuela has long disputed its eastern boundary with Guyana, claiming that much of the western half of Guyana should be within its territory. The dispute stems from colonial era boundary arrangements in the nineteenth century between Venezuela and the former British administered colony of British Guyana. Negotiations have continued off and on for many decades, preceding Guyana independence in 1966. In addition to affecting diplomatic relations between the South American neighbours, the outstanding land boundary dispute has prevented Guyana and Venezuela from defining their maritime boundary.
Sources: 'UN envoy hails workshop related to Guyana-Venezuela border dispute' UN Press Release, 17 May 2012; 'New UN enjvoy appointed to help resolve Guyana-Venezuela border controversy' UN Press Release, 21 April 2010.