BENELUX Statement Interactive Dialogue on High Commissioner’s report on Nicaragua

Delivered by H.E. Lars Tummers, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Thank you Mr. President,

I deliver this statement on behalf of the three BENELUX countries, Belgium, Luxembourg and my own country, the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

We thank the High Commissioner and his Office for their efforts in monitoring and reporting on the deteriorating human rights situation in Nicaragua.

We condemn the latest developments in the country. The recent confiscation and closure of the Central American University in Managua, as well as earlier closures and confiscation of property of 26 other universities severely undermines academic freedom and the right to  education. These measures leave students in educational limbo and negatively impact the ability for free and critical thinking of the country’s youth.

We consider these measures another manifestation of the ongoing oppression of the political opposition, human rights defenders, clergy, journalists, lawyers, and indigenous peoples.

We call on the authorities of Nicaragua to reverse these measures and immediately cease other human rights violations, to restore democracy and the independence of academic institutions, and to re-engage with the international community.

Mr. High Commissioner,

How can the international community support the students who have been robbed of their academic development and denied their right to education, including those now living in exile?