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UN Appoints Norwegian Diplomat to Mediate Border Controversy Between Guyana and Venezuela

Dag Halvor Nylander

New York — United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Dag Halvor Nylander of Norway as his personal representative on the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.

In accordance with the Geneva Agreement of Feb. 17, 1966, Guyana and Venezuela have turned to the secretary-general to solve a border dispute that has arisen as a result of Venezuela’s contention that the Arbitral Award of 1899 regarding the land between Venezuela and what is now Guyana is null and void.

As announced on Dec. 16, 2016, the secretary-general has concluded that the present good-offices process, which has been conducted since 1990, will continue until the end of 2017, with a strengthened mandate of mediation.

Nylander will conduct the good-offices process on behalf of the secretary-general and will actively engage with the governments of Guyana and Venezuela with a view to exploring and proposing options for a solution to the border controversy between the two countries.

If by the end of 2017 the secretary-general concludes that no significant progress has been made toward arriving at a full agreement for the solution of the controversy, he will choose the International Court of Justice as the next means of settlement, unless the governments of Guyana and Venezuela jointly request that he refrain from doing so.

Nylander was the Norwegian special envoy to the Colombia peace process (2012-2016) and served as Norway’s head of mission in Bogota, Colombia, (2006-2008). Nylander was a delegate of his country before the United Nations in New York (2001-2004) and at the Norwegian embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1999-2001).

Born in 1969, Nylander is a lawyer from the University of Oslo and is fluent in English, Spanish and Norwegian.

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