Bogota, June 15th 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – A high ranking United Nations spokesperson backed a nationally negotiated solution to Venezuela’s unfolding economic and political crisis on Monday, as the South American country was elected to the UN’s social and economic council.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, urged both the Venezuelan government and opposition parties to persist with recent and to the date unsuccessful attempts at dialogue, highlighting that the answers to the country’s problems must come from Venezuelans and must not “be imposed from outside”.
“We urge the government and opposition to work towards this end, refraining from violence and hate speech, and in full respect of all international human rights norms,” stated Al Hussein during a global update at the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council.
The official statement came amidst international debate concerning Venezuela’s future, after opposition legislators at the country’s National Assembly called on the Organization of American States (OAS) to invoke the body’s democratic charter against the elected government and suspend the country from the organisation.
While the request was accepted and encouraged by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, it met criticism from other member states who accused the OAS head of bias towards Venezuela’s opposition, as well as of disregarding consensus in favour of acting independently on the issue.
An OAS meeting on June 1st culminated with member states opting for continued dialogue in Venezuela, with a possible vote on the country’s suspension still pending.
“I am encouraged to see that the region is now engaging in support of Venezuela, and I offer the experience of my office in ensuring independent and objective human rights monitoring and reporting, as well as support for the implementation of all human rights recommendations,” said Al Hussein.
In further reference to the regional body, the High Commissioner stated that his office “shared” many of the OAS’s concerns, as well as its conviction that a solution to Venezuela’s current problems can only be successfully reached by national actors.
A delegation from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) has been attempting to mediate dialogue between the Venezuelan government and its political opposition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable, since late May, alongside several former heads of state. However, progress has been stalled due to a string of conditions that the opposition has requested before sitting down to talks with the government.
On Tuesday, Venezuela was officially elected to the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) alongside Russia, China, Britain and Colombia, amongst others.
ECOSOC comprises 54 different members states elected for a period of three years. It is one of the UN’s six main bodies.