Guyana-Venezuela border controversyThe United Nations Secretary General António Guterres’s decision on the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy could take as much as two years to be handed down if needs be, Vice President and Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said on Wednesday.Providing an update on the matter, the Minister said that nothing new has happened since the Good Offices Process ended on December 31, 2017 and aForeign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidgecommitment was made to clearly outline the way forward by the Secretary General.The Secretary General undertook to make a decision after a process which ended on December 31. “It is possible of course that he could take two years to answer…We are still waiting on the Secretary General to carry out his responsibilities,” Greenidge told <>> on Wednesday.However, the Minister said given the circumstances by which he was invited to carry out his mandate under the 1966 Agreement, Guterres was fully aware of the urgency of this matter.“And the fact that when the Guyana Government called on him to intervene, it wasn’t only because Venezuelan troops were on our borders, but because the continuation of this controversy caused by Venezuela claiming that the 1899 Treaty was null and void was having an effect on Guyana,” he added.“The Secretary General would know that during personal discussions with his personal representative, we made it very clear that our main concern was to embark on the process identified under the Geneva Agreement, but one that required an urgent resolution…And I don’t think we have to beat him over the head every week to tell him that,” Greenidge continued.Director General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ambassador Audrey Jardine-Waddell had told sections of the media that after the Personal Representative to the Secretary General, Dag Halvor Nylander submitted his report on enhanced mediation efforts, the UN Head would decide the next step.“December 31 wasn’t the date of the decision. December 31 was when the process ended….Having received the report from his personal representative, the Secretary General will now make his decision and inform us of the decision,” Jardine-Waddell was quoted as saying.There have been reports that Secretary General Guterres could inform the two countries of his decision before the end of March 2018.“He didn’t have to inform us on December 31st; that was the date when the process ended,” Waddell reiterated.Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had given an undertaking that 2017 would have been the last year of mediation to end the border controversy. If that process failed, the controversy would be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the UN.Guyana maintains that the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award that settled the boundary issue between Guyana and Venezuela was full and final. But Venezuela has, for several decades, registered its diplomatic and military objection to Guyana’s development of its natural resources onshore and offshore.Venezuela, with almost 40 times the population of Guyana and a territory that is several times bigger, purported to claim in 1968 the entire territorial sea of Guyana by means of the Leoni Decree, which has never been withdrawn.On the military front, Venezuela’s navy in October 2013 seized the Malaysian-owned seismic research vessel, <<>>, that had been conducting surveys in a Guyanese oil concession offshore Essequibo for the US company, Anadarko Petroleum.In May 2015 when ExxonMobil officially announced a large oil find in its offshore Stabroek Block concession, Venezuela’s President, Nicolás Maduro had unilaterally extended his country’s maritime boundary to include almost all of Guyana’s maritime space.He, however, backed down after intense pressure from the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom) after it became known that his unilateral maritime demarcation had also included almost all of the Caribbean islands.