United Nations, Jan 28: The top UN political official told the Security Council that dialogue and cooperation were vital to end the crisis in Venezuela, a statement said.
''We must try to help bring about a political solution that will allow the country’s citizens to enjoy peace, prosperity and all their human rights,'' Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN Under Secretary-General of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, urged the Security Council on Saturday.
The meeting was requested by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the wake of political unrest in Venezuela, that erupted on Wednesday after the leader of the opposition legislature, Juan Guaidó, declared himself interim president and called for fresh elections.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged parties to 'lower tensions' in Venezuela and called for all relevant actors to commit to inclusive and credible political dialogue, the statement further said.
The UN chief also called for a transparent and independent investigation of casualties during demonstrations and unrest in and around Caracas.
''The population is affected in a systemic way, nearly all 30 million Venezuelans are affected by hyperinflation and a collapse of real salaries; shortages of food, medicine and basic supplies; deterioration of health and education services; deterioration of basic infrastructure such as water, electricity, transport and urban services,'' Ms DiCarlo told the council.
Recalling that the UN Secretary-General had offered his good offices to help resolve the crisis, Ms. DiCarlo stressed that the main concern is the well-being of the Venezuelan people and their ability to enjoy their full rights. ''The UN has been providing assistance, particularly in the areas of health and nutrition. And the Secretary-General had asked the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to establish a mechanism to support Venezuelans leaving the country.''
''There are divergent visions of what the future should hold for Venezuela. But we must all be guided, however, by the pursuit of the well-being of the Venezuelan people, and work together so that their needs are fully met,'' she said. Ms DiCarlo’s call for cooperation and dialogue was echoed by many of the Council’s 15 members during the contentious debate that followed her briefing, even as speakers for the United States and Russia sparred over the path to end the crisis.
The Venezuelan Government went for presidential elections in May 2018. President Nicolas Maduro was declared the winner over two other candidates. On 10 January, Nicolas Maduro was sworn in as President for a second six-year term. On January 23, large scale opposition protests culminated with Juan Guaidó, president of the opposition-led National Assembly, announcing that he did not recognize President Maduro or his Government. UNI