2. La línea del Decreto Presidencial No 1152 del 09 de Julio de 1968. Que reserva los derechos de Venezuela frente de las costas de la Guayana Esequiba
3. La Canciller Rodrigues-Birkett
Maritime Zones Bill clause to which Venezuelan group has raised objection has been in place all along
Posted By Stabroek staff On September 23, 2010 @ 5:31 am In Local News
Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett says the clause in the Maritime Zones Bill 2010 to which Venezuela’s National Academy of Engineering and Habitat has raised objections has been in place all along.
A September 8 report in the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal cited the National Academy’s newsletter as saying that a clause dealing with the delimitation of boundaries of the territorial sea in Guyana’s Maritime Zones Bill, which was passed in the National Assembly on August 8, would adversely affect Venezuela’s claim to the Essequibo region.
However, speaking to this newspaper recently, Rodrigues-Birkett observed: “On the issue of the delimitation of our territorial sea, what should be known is that that particular section was in the 1977 Maritime Boundaries Act. It’s not a new provision,” she stated.
“While the matter is pending, the bill has no relevance to that. It will not result in any expansion of our territorial waters vis-à-vis Vene-zuela’s claim,” she added.
The new bill is intended to replace the 1977 act.
The clause in question which the Venezuelan daily incorrectly cited as Clause 35 – it is in fact, Clause 34 – has been reworded, but retains the essence of Clause 35 in the 1977 act, and states:
“In accordance with Article 15 of the [UN] Convention [on the Law of the Sea] and international law, delimitation of the boundaries of the territorial sea between Guyana and any State opposite or adjacent shall be by agreement between Guyana and that State and failing agreement the territorial sea shall not be extended beyond the median line every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea of each of the two States is measured.”
El Universal reported the Academy newsletter as commenting that, “Delimitation of marine and submarine waters with Guyana is a pending task, because Venezuela insists on claiming the land portion to the west of river Essequibo, and under said law, Guyana sets guidelines to establish its maritime boundaries without taking into account the Venezuelan claim.”
It added that the projection of the so-called midline mentioned in Clause 34 “harms Venezuela, because the outline of the geo-morphological inclination favours Guyana.”
The minister, however, told Stabroek News that the enactment of Guyana’s new maritime legislation was irrelevant to Venezuela’s claim to the Essequibo.
Venezuela’s National Academy of Engineering also drew attention to “Clause 37” (it should be Clause 36) of the bill stating that if no agreement can be reached under sections 34 and 35, “Guyana shall resort to the procedures provided for in Part XV of the [UN] Convention [on the Law of the Sea].”
El Universal said that this ran counter to the spirit of the Geneva Agreement executed on February 16, 1966, which states as an objective “satisfactory solutions for the practical settlement of the controversy between Venezuela and the United Kingdom which has arisen as the result of the Venezuelan contention that the Arbitral Award of 1899 about the frontier between British Guiana and Venezuela is null and void.”
Under international law, a practical settlement allowed for political solutions, but the Maritime Zones Bill 2009 paved the way to resort to another jurisdiction, such as an international court, upon the decision of either party, not by common consent, the daily said.
Venezuela is not a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
El Universal also reported anonymous sources in the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Ministry as saying that they would reject the legislation through diplomatic means once it was enacted. When contacted last week Guyana’s ambassador in Caracas Dr Odeen Ishmael said there had been no official reaction from the government there.
Minister Rodrigues-Birkett told this newspaper that delimitation of the territorial seas was of no relevance to the proclamation of the Maritime Zones Bill which would be enacted shortly.
She said they were double checking the changes made to ensure they were in order before the President signed the bill into law.
The bill was introduced in the National Assembly and read for a first time on October 15 last year, and on its second reading at the end of that month was referred to Select Committee for consideration. It was finally passed on August 8 of this year.
The new legislation replaces the Maritime Boundaries Act of 1977, and according to the preamble incorporates “certain provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage 2001.”
The latter convention provides for marine scientific research; maritime cultural areas; eco-tourism; marine parks and reserves and mariculture; and the protection and preservation of the marine environment and related matters.
Since 1990 Venezuela and Guyana have had recourse to the UN Good Offices Process in the search for a means to a practical settlement of the boundary controversy, with Professor Norman Girvan appointed as the UN Good Officer in April. He assumed the role almost two years after the post was left vacant due to the passing of Oliver Jackman in 2007. Jackman had served from October 1999 to January 2007.
Professor Girvan’s task is to assist Guyana and Venezuela in the search for a means for the practical settlement of the controversy that emerged from the Venezuelan contention that the Arbitral Award of October 3, 1899 is null and void. That award established the territorial boundary between Guyana and Venezuela and was accepted by both parties at the time as a full, perfect and final settlement.
Article printed from Stabroek News:
Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra del 17 de febrero de 1966.
Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”