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UN expert visits Venezuela and Ecuador to assess economic and social advancement

Latin America mission

27 November 2017


GENEVA (27 November 2017) – The United Nations Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, is conducting his first official visit to Latin America from 27 November to 8 December 2017.

He will travel to Venezuela and Ecuador to gather information about regional cooperation on trade, good governance, social protection and human rights.

“I will examine joint efforts to promote social progress and better standards of living consistent with the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the agendas of the world social forums since Porto Alegre,” said Mr. de Zayas.

“In particular, I wish to study how national budgets are spent, and to what extent the demands of global civil society are positively impacting investment in food, housing, health and education programmes, labour rights promotion, social solidarity, fiscal reform, non-discrimination, access to information, freedom of expression and the rule of law.

“It is also important to study national policies to advance peace in the region, as promised in the 2014 CELAC Declaration of Latin America as a ‘zone of peace’.
“Threats to human rights and development cross borders in today’s globalized world, and I will recommend ways how to strengthen relationships to overcome obstacles to the enjoyment of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights in the region.”

“I will also assess persistent challenges to human dignity, including issues of accountability, transparency, impunity, fair taxation, tax havens, investor-state dispute settlement, and regulation of the activities of transnational corporations and the private sector.”

Mr. de Zayas will meet officials from both governments and representatives of regional organizations and civil society. He will submit a report on his visit to the Human Rights Council in September 2018.


Mr. Alfred de Zayas (United States of America) was appointed as the first Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order by the Human Rights Council, effective May 2012. He is currently professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy.

The Independent Experts 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.

UN Human Rights country pages: Venezuela and Ecuador

For more information, media requests, and details of a news conference in Geneva on 12 December 2017 (time and venue tbc), please contact Aminta Ossom as follows:
In Geneva (before and after the visit): +41 22 917 9611 / to [email protected] or  [email protected]
In Caracas and Quito (during the visit): +41 79 444 5172 [email protected] or write to [email protected]

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