We must bring what is happening in Belarus to the world’s attention and hear from those on the ground. Briefers on #BYHumanRights: UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin; Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya; Vice-Chairman of the Viasna Human Rights Center, Valiantsin Stefanovic; Legal Expert for the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Volha Siakhovich. The meeting is chaired by Urmas Reinsalu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. The meeting was initiated by Estonia and co-sponsored by UN Security Council members the United States and United Kingdom, as well as Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.

National Statement at the UN Security Council VTC meeting on Venezuela

Delivered by Permanent Representative of Estonia to UN Mr. Sven Jürgenson

I would like to thank Ms Rosemary DiCarlo for her comprehensive briefing on the situation in Venezuela.

The situation in Venezuela is very concerning. The further deterioration of the political crisis and its destabilizing effects across the region must be addressed. The lack of dialogue of the regime with opposition is steadily increasing the suffering of Venezuelans.

Estonia firmly believes that a peaceful and inclusive democratic transition is the only sustainable solution to the current political deadlock and the severe social crisis.

We are concerned about the reports on human rights violations against protesters, civil society activists and human rights defenders. The authorities must secure freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, protect peaceful protestors from violence, as well as investigate all violations and ensure accountability.

The people of Venezuela are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, the current pandemics has worsened the situation even more. We urge all relevant actors to take all necessary measures to secure safe, full and unhindered access of humanitarian aid to all people in need and to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers. The EU is the largest donor to the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis, providing more than half of all funding.

Finally, more concerted efforts are needed to meet the extremely urgent needs of Venezuelan people. We support United Nations efforts as well as the efforts of all other key players.