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Venezuela sanctions would worsen plight of suffering people, UN expert warns

GENEVA (11 August 2017) – Sanctions are not the answer to the growing crisis in Venezuela and the international community should not impose them, United Nations Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy has said.

“Sanctions would worsen the situation of the people of Venezuela, who are already suffering from crippling inflation and a lack of access to adequate food and medicine,” Mr. Jazairy said.

The expert highlighted that efforts that damage the economy will lead only to violations of the rights of ordinary people. “Sanctions are disruptive for any State, and can have a particularly devastating impact on the citizens of developing countries when they impair the economy”

“Dialogue is the foundation of the peaceful settlement of disputes,” Mr. Jazairy noted. “States should engage in constructive dialogue with the Government of Venezuela to find solutions to the very real challenges being faced.”

His call echoed the comments of the Spokesman for the UN Secretary General, who noted that Secretary General “is convinced that the Venezuelan crisis cannot be solved through the imposition of unilateral measures, but requires a political solution based on dialogue and compromise.”

The expert drew attention to the UN Declaration on the Principles of International Law concerning friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, which urges States to resolve their differences through dialogue and peaceful relations, and to avoid the use of economic, political or other measures to coerce another State in regard to the exercise of its sovereign rights.

“It is vital that States observe these principles, particularly in difficult times,” Mr. Jazairy stressed.

“I urge all countries to avoid applying sanctions unless approved by the United Nations Security Council, as required by the UN Charter,” the Special Rapporteur concluded.

Mr. Idriss Jazairy was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the first Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. He took office in May 2015. Mr. Jazairy has extensive experience in the fields of international relations and human rights with the Algerian Foreign Ministry, the UN human rights system and international NGOs. He holds a M.A. (Oxford) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and an M.P.A. (Harvard). He also graduated from the Ecole nationale d’Administration (France). Mr. Jazairy is the author of books and of a large number of articles in the international press on development, human rights and current affairs.
 
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

For more information and media requests, please contact Stee Asbjornsen (+41 22 917 9827 / sasbjornsen@ohchr.org ) or write to ucm@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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