“General debate on the oral update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and oral updates of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Nicaragua and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela"
Agenda Item 2: - Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General
Statement by: International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
15 September 2020
Thank you, President.
We would like to thank the High Commissioner’s for her update and we wish to highlight two points which are very worrisome.
First, we deplore the conditions under which healthcare professionals work in Venezuela. Furthermore, recent reprisals against healthcare workers who speak out against these conditions are not only unlawful, but also prevent the dissemination of information crucial to curbing the virus’ spread in the country.
The unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States have been very efficient in destroying the Venezuelan economy. Thus, EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice welcome the recommendation made to Member States to halt or revise their sanctions against Venezuela so that the government can better respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Nevertheless, this pandemic must not be used as an excuse to cover up or to set aside existing human rights violations. They are contrary to international law, even in emergency situations.
We therefore urge all governments to uphold international standards, when it comes to the human rights of its people in every circumstance.