Experts argue that ICJ lacks jurisdiction to decide on a territorial dispute over Guayana Esequiba
In the continuation of the conference 55 years of the Geneva Agreement: Diplomacy for Peace, on Thursday morning the experts Víctor Rodríguez Cedeño, César Pineda and Kenneth Ramírez presented their presentations, addressing the context of the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to declare itself competent to assume the unilateral demand of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana on the territorial dispute with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the Guayana Esequiba.
Carlos Ron, president of the Simón Bolívar Institute for Peace and Solidarity among the Peoples (ISB), organizer of the event that takes place in the Military Circle of Caracas, insisted on the importance of the activity to refresh the validity of the Geneva Agreement of 1966 in the historical claim that Venezuela has over the Essequibo territory and as a meeting point for the different currents of thought that converge in the country on this matter.
In his presentation The process before the ICJ and the 1966 Geneva Agreement, former ambassador Víctor Rodríguez Cedeño, a researcher for the Venezuelan Council for International Relations, stated that the Venezuelan claim on the Essequibo territory is an issue that requires an national discussion exempt of any political and ideological consideration, as it is a matter of State that must be the object of consultations, coincidences and consensus by all the political and social sectors of the nation.
He affirmed that the ICJ made an erroneous interpretation when considering the Guyanese claim without the consent of Venezuela, which denies the jurisdiction of this court and adheres to the Geneva Agreement, which establishes a friendly and acceptable solution for both parties through a practical and satisfactory arrangement.
Regarding the Arbitration Award of 1899, he recalled that Venezuela considers it null and void and the United Kingdom, when signing the Geneva Agreement, also ignores the “res judicata” nature of the aforementioned Award.
Likewise, César Pineda, doctor in Law and International Relations, entitled his presentation Philosophy and validity of the Geneva Agreement and in it, he explained that the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) exceeded his powers by sending the case to the ICJ without the concern of Venezuela or exhausting the other means of peaceful resolution that successively stipulates the Article 33 of the UN Charter.
He added that due to the nature of the agreement, all political and diplomatic means must be exhausted and the judicial agreement be the last instance. In addition, he pointed out that according to the Geneva Agreement, the Secretary General is a facilitator or good officiant, he can recommend or suggest, but never decide.
Professor Kenneth Ramírez, director of the Venezuelan Council for International Relations, in his presentation Updated assessment of the Geneva Agreement, delved into the context in which it was signed, considering it an achievement of the Venezuelan State, with vigorous diplomacy and national unity of all the sectors that asserted the real will to recover a usurped territory, a “national enthusiasm” which he summoned to defend this cause today.