ITEM 4: Interactive Dialogue with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Venezuela

National statement by the Kingdom of the Netherlands

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the EU statement.

We appreciate the work the High Commissioner has done in Venezuela in the last year. We urge the Venezuelan authorities to implement the High Commissioner’s recommendations and we repeat our call to facilitate the permanent and undisturbed presence of OHCHR in the country.

Madam High Commissioner, your report indicates systemic human rights violations in Venezuela,  extrajudicial executions, intimidation and suppression of  human rights defenders, and you stress the need to strengthen judicial action to ensure accountability for serious human rights violations.

Civic space in Venezuela is rapidly decreasing. NGO’s, including those delivering food and humanitarian aid, face severe difficulties and are subjected to criminal investigations. Human rights activists suffer intimidation and persecution. In that light we are concerned about the recent arrests of human rights defenders of NGO Fundaredes.

We urge all political and civil actors in and outside Venezuela to foster the return to the rule of law, the democratic order and independence of the judiciary. Therefore The Kingdom of The Netherlands supports Venezuelan led, comprehensive negotiations towards a political solution of the conflict and prosperity and peace for the Venezuelan people.

Madame High Commissioner, how do you assess the impact of new NGO-regulations on those NGO’s that are specifically working in the field of human rights?

Thank you.