Venezuela Hosts 18 Countries to Defend UN Charter, Reject Sanctions

The Group of Friends in Defense of the UN Charter will lead a debate to condemn unilateral coercive measures.
The Second Meeting of National Coordinators of the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations is held at the Casa Amarilla Antonio José de Sucre in Caracas, Venezuela. (@Yvangil)

Mexico City, Mexico, May 14, 2024 ( – Venezuela played host to the Group of Friends in Defense of the United Nations Charter as part of ongoing efforts to defend multilateralism and confront violations of international law, including the application of unilateral coercive measures.

“Today, when the world is threatened by fascism, by wars, it is necessary that we are more united than ever,” said Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yván Gil on Monday.

The Group of Friends in Defense of the United Nations Charter, founded 2021, is an initiative spearheaded by Venezuela that seeks to promote diplomacy and multilateralism and currently has 18 members. The Group, which counts on the State of Palestine as a member, has been a strong advocate of the Palestinian people’s liberation struggle and has pushed for Palestinian admission as a full Member State of the UN.

The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted on Friday in favor of Palestine’s bid to become a full member after the US used its veto power in the Security Council to halt Palestine’s diplomatic push. 

“The United States uses [its veto power] as a tool to violate the United Nations Charter, to go against its principles,” said Gil.

Despite receiving overwhelming support at the most prominent global deliberative body, US officials rejected the outcome of the General Assembly vote, labeling it a “unilateral” action. Palestine is currently a non-member observer state, admission to the UN as a full member requires the support of the Security Council.

Among the topics discussed at the Caracas summit was the effort to hold a debate at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in June to condemn the use of unilateral coercive measures.

“In recent years we have seen how the principles of the United Nations Charter have been systematically violated; and how Venezuela has been a victim precisely of the violation of the principles of non-interference, self-determination and complementarity,” Gil added in his remarks.

The European Union (EU) recently extended its sanctions on Venezuelan officials but also shortened their review period from 12 to six months, a decision that was met with sharp criticism from Venezuelan officials. 

National Assembly President Jorge Rodríguez said that the EU would not be invited to monitor the country’s upcoming presidential election if sanctions against Venezuela remained in place.

The rebuke of sanctions was echoed by numerous Venezuelan officials, including the head of the National Electoral Council, Elvis Amoroso. The EU temporarily lifted sanctions against Amoroso but he rejected the move, labeling it an effort to “coerce” him and the country’s electoral authority. Amoroso instead called for the total suspension of coercive measures against Venezuela.

At the recent Caribbean Regional Seminar, part of the UN-backed Special Committee on Decolonization, Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez also sharply criticized the widespread use of economic sanctions. 

“We have been punished for our self-determination. We categorize this system of sanctions as a form of neo-colonialism aimed at seizing our resources,” said Rodríguez.

Likewise, President Nicolás Maduro charged that the unilateral coercive measures were aimed at preventing progress towards the construction of an alternative economic model in Venezuela. Maduro welcomed officials from the Chinese Communist Party on Monday as part of an effort to deepen ties between the two countries. The two delegations reviewed progress in the cooperation agenda between Caracas and Beijing.

Edited by Ricardo Vaz in Caracas.