Guyana/Venezuela controversyNow that Guyana has taken a historic step in filing an application at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), requesting that it confirms the legal validity and binding effect of the 1899 Arbitral Award on the boundary with neighbouring Venezuela, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is calling for diplomatic talks to resume.Venezuela does not consider the ICJ’s resolutions to be binding. It prefers instead to follow guidelines established in the Geneva Agreement of 1966, wherein it is stated that the dispute should be “solved amicably in a way that’s acceptable for both parties.”According to the Venezuela Foreign Ministry, the Venezuela Government has officially proposed to the Guyana Government the re-establishment of diplomatic contacts that “allow for a practical and satisfying solution of the controversy.”However, Venezuela’s request comes months after the Good Offices Process came to an end. In fact, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on January 30, that meaningful progress in the controversy was not reached, and that is why the ICJ was chosen as the means to be used for the resolution.Guyana has repeatedly argued that Venezuela had, for several decades, recognised the award and boundary. In its application to the Court, Guyana highlighted that Venezuela had, for more than 60 years, consistently recognized and respected the validity and binding force of the 1899 Award.However, Guyana noted that Venezuela changed its mind in 1962, as Britain was preparing to grant Guyana independence. Venezuela changed its position formally in 1962, as the United Kingdom was making final preparations for the independence of British Guiana.Government’s top legal adviser in the case, Sir Shridath Ramphal, has said that Venezuela had filibustered and tried to avoid the day when the matter would be sent to the ICJ. “But the day has come, and the application (petition) is in train. When that is done, the case is in the hands of the ICJ,” he explained.The former Commonwealth Secretary General has said it is for Guyana and its Government to establish to the world what has always been the case, which is why this country is sticking by the agreement that was signed.The UN Secretary General’s authority to choose the ICJ as the means for resolving the controversy is rooted in the Geneva Agreement of 1966, negotiated just before Guyana attained independence.