The Joint Declaration Of Argyle For Dialouge And Peace Between Guyana And Venezuela

PR – On Thursday, December 14, 2023, in Argyle, Saint Vincent and the  Grenadines, His Excellency Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative  Republic of Guyana and His Excellency Nicolas Maduro, President of  the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela held discussions on matters  consequential to the territory in dispute between their two countries. 

These discussions were facilitated by the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Pro-Tempore President of the  Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Dr. The  Honourable Ralph E. Gonsalves, and the Prime Minister of the  Commonwealth of Dominica and Chairman of the Caribbean  Community (CARICOM), the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit. Prime  Ministers Gonsalves and Skerrit, together with H.E. Mr. Celso  Amorim, Special Adviser and Personal Envoy of H.E. Luiz Inácio Lula  da Silva, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, acted as  principal Interlocutors. Also present were Honourable Prime  Ministers of the Caribbean Community, namely: the Honourable  Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas; the Honourable Mia  Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados; the Honourable Dickon  Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada; the Honourable Philip J. Pierre,  Prime Minister of Saint Lucia; Honourable Terrence Drew of Saint  Kitts and Nevis and Dr. The Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister  of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. 

Attending as Observers on behalf of His Excellency António Guterres,  Secretary-General of the United Nations were Their Excellencies  Earle Courtenay Rattray, Chef de Cabinet of the Office of the  Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Miroslav Jenca, Under 

Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Political and  Peacebuilding Affairs. In addition, His Excellency Alvaro Leyva  Durán, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia and  Mr. Gerardo Torres Zelaya, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the  Republic of Honduras, in his capacity as CELAC Troika, also  participated. 

All parties attending the meeting at Argyle, Saint Vincent and the  Grenadines reiterated their commitment to Latin America and the  Caribbean remaining a Zone of Peace. 

Guyana and Venezuela declared as follows: 

  1. Agreed that Guyana and Venezuela, directly or indirectly, will  not threaten or use force against one another in any  circumstances, including those consequential to any existing  controversies between the two States. 
  2. Agreed that any controversies between the two States will be  resolved in accordance with international law, including the  Geneva Agreement dated February 17, 1966. 
  3. Committed to the pursuance of good neighbourliness, peaceful  coexistence, and the unity of Latin America and the Caribbean. 
  4. Noted Guyana’s assertion that it is committed to the process  and procedures of the International Court of Justice for the  resolution of the border controversy. Noted Venezuela’s  assertion of its lack of consent and lack of recognition of the  International Court of Justice and its jurisdiction in the border  controversy.  
  5. Agreed to continue dialogue on any other pending matters of  mutual importance to the two countries. 
  6. Agreed that both States will refrain, whether by words or deeds,  from escalating any conflict or disagreement arising from any  controversy between them. The two States will cooperate to  avoid incidents on the ground conducive to tension between  them. In the event of such an incident the two States will  immediately communicate with one another, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Community of Latin America and  the Caribbean (CELAC), and the President of Brazil to contain,  reverse and prevent its recurrence.
  1. Agreed to establish immediately, a joint commission of the  Foreign Ministers and technical persons from the two States to  address matters as mutually agreed. An update from this joint  commission will be submitted to the Presidents of Guyana and  Venezuela within three months. 
  2. Both States agreed that Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves, the  Pro-Tempore President of CELAC, Prime Minister Roosevelt  Skerrit, the incumbent CARICOM Chairman, and President  Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil will remain seized of the  matter as Interlocutors and the UN Secretary-General, Antonio  Guterres as Observer, with the ongoing concurrence of  Presidents Irfaan Ali and Nicolas Maduro. For the avoidance of  doubt, Prime Minister Gonsalves’ role will continue even after  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ceases to be the Pro-Tempore  President of CELAC, within the framework of the CELAC Troika  plus one; and Prime Minister Skerrit’s role will continue as a  member of the CARICOM Bureau. 
  3. Both States agreed to meet again in Brazil, within the next three  months, or at another agreed time, to consider any matter with  implications for the territory in dispute, including the above mentioned update of the joint commission. 
  4. We express our appreciation to Prime Ministers Gonsalves and  Skerrit, to President Lula and his Personal Envoy Celso  Amorim, to all other CARICOM Prime Ministers present, to the  officials of the CARICOM Secretariat, to the CELAC Troika and  to the Head of the CELAC PTP Secretariat in Saint Vincent and  the Grenadines, His Excellency Dr. Douglas Slater, for their  respective roles in making this meeting a success. 
  5. We express our appreciation to the Government and people of  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for their kind facilitation and  hospitality at this meeting.