Human Rights Council 52nd Session: Interactive Dialogue with Fact Finding Mission on Venezuela - PR UN, WTO and other organisations Geneva

Human Rights Council:  52nd Session: Interactive Dialogue with Fact Finding Mission on Venezuela | 22-03-2023

BENELUX statement by Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Luxembourg, delivered by H.E. Lars Tummers, Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador for Humanitarian Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Thank you, Mr President,

I deliver this statement on behalf of the three Benelux countries, Belgium, Luxembourg, and my own country, the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

We thank the Fact Finding Mission for their oral update on the human rights situation in Venezuela and express our strong support for the FFM.

Your update, clearly puts a spotlight on the persistent and grave human rights violations in Venezuela, which are of deep concern .

Today, we would like to highlight the further shrinking of Civic Space. A prime example of this worrying trend is the draft Bill for the Inspection, Regularization, Action and Financing of Non-Governmental and Related Organizations, which seeks to further limit the enjoyment of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association of the Venezuelan population. In a similar vein, media freedom continues to be under severe pressure, as indicated by the accelerated closing of radio channels.

A vibrant Civic Space is a prerequisite for any thriving society. The Venezuelan authorities must respect its international human rights obligations and protect civil society organisations, including human rights defenders, journalists, mediaworkers, and political opponents.

We urge the Venezuelan authorities to fully cooperate with the FFM and we call on them to provide full and unhindered access.

Ms. Valiñas,

What can the international community do to improve the weak civic and democratic space?