Speech By FM Jorge Arreaza At 42nd Session Of UNHRC


Receive a cordial greeting from the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros.

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) promoted a Resolution, approved by this Council, which led to the celebration of this important Biennial Panel on unilateral coercive measures.

The purpose for the Movement’s promotion of this Resolution is for this Council to have a discussion on this pressing issue.

This Biennial Panel is part of the preparatory work that will drive us to elaborate a United Nations Statement on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, including the enjoyment of the right to development.

Today more than ever, the Non-Aligned Movement highlights the importance of the fight against those measures that, are illegally imposed on countries in the South, countries that fight for their development, for their autonomy, for their independence.

Unilateral coercive measures cause great suffering to nations and peoples, and within them, the most vulnerable groups, by boycotting economies, suffocating their trade and promoting the destruction of productive systems.

They openly violate human rights recognized in the International agreement on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; they produce death, hunger, poverty, inequality and hide, behind the dire facade of “sanctions”, the destabilization of the political systems of the nations to which they are imposed.

This Council has given a mandate to the Special Rapporteur on Unilateral Coercive Measures, Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, who unfortunately for health reasons is not with us today, to identify and propose measures that guarantee the withdrawal of unilateral coercive measures to the peoples and States to which they have been imposed.

Through this Resolution, all Special Rapporteurs and Thematic Mechanisms of the Council, in the field of economic, social and cultural rights, have been urged to pay due attention, within the scope of their respective mandates, to the negative repercussions and consequences of the unilateral coercive measures.

The NAM has called on the preservation of multilateralism and to strengthen international cooperation, in order to face the negative effects of these measures.

As is known, the NAM is based on the 10 Bandung Principles. These prescribe respect for the fundamental rights of all people and are enshrined and more valid than ever in the UN Charter.

The member states of our historic Movement must work together in order for developing countries to realize the objectives and principles that were established in Bandung.

The Non-Aligned Movement promotes respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations; condemns interventionism and interference in the internal affairs of States; rejects acts of threat or aggression and the use of force against any country.

Today we face a turbulent scenario, marked by uncertainty. We live a difficult historical moment for multilateralism.

The policies applied by some powers that try, under the practice of unilateralism, the diplomatic encirclement, the blockade of the economies and even the threat of the use of force, violate the sovereignty and political independence of several States.

Powers that have opted for unilateralism are unaware of international agreements, such as the Climate Change agreement. Likewise, they are unaware of agreements on disarmament and even seek to take over outer space.

In that way they constantly disrespect the UN Charter and the fundamental norms of international law. The Non-Aligned Movement challenges that anachronistic and antidemocratic policy.

There are alarming signs in the current situation: International peace and security, comprehensive economic development, social justice, human rights and the rule of law are threatened by this supremacist, authoritarian and unilateralist vision that aims to divide the world between masters and slaves.

We cannot and will never accept that imposition that denies the mechanisms of coexistence and civilized respect between States.

Multilateralism is a great area to address the complex threats and challenges facing the world today; that is why it must be claimed, it is the only possible area.

The Non-Aligned Movement advocates the establishment of a peaceful and prosperous, fair and equitable world. These objectives are hindered by those who seek to perpetuate inequalities and inequities in the world.

At the last Ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, held in Caracas last July, the Movement’s Foreign Ministers, in their Declaration of Caracas, decided on actions, in different areas, to strengthen their historical role.

In this regard, our Movement agreed on a series of specific measures, among which are the refraining from recognizing, adopting or applying unilateral coercive measures or extraterritorial laws, including so-called unilateral economic “sanctions”.

He also rejected other intimidating measures and arbitrary restrictions, such as those that threaten sovereignty, independence, freedom of trade and investment.

The Non-Aligned Movement pledged to persevere in its efforts to reverse the unilateral coercive measures currently in force against several countries. I urged other States to do the same and have raised this request to the General Assembly and other United Nations bodies.

In accordance with international law, the Non-Aligned Movement supports the affected States and demands compensation for the damage caused.

The NAM has reiterated that if any developing country suffers economic, political or military damage, as a result of the imposition of unilateral sanctions or embargoes, the Movement must express its solidarity.

It has also decided to create a Working Group on Sanctions, coordinated by Venezuela, with a  task  to advance the position of the Movement’s principles in this regard.

Likewise, the Non-Aligned Movement has expressed deep concern over the enactment of national laws, with political motivations, directed against other States.

In 2017, the High Level segment of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, the Non-Aligned Movement unanimously adopted the Political Declaration entitled “The promulgation and implementation of unilateral coercive measures in violation of international law and the human rights of the peoples subject to them ”. This statement is a roadmap for our Movement.

Allow me, to conclude, with a few brief remarks on a national level, which will be elaborated on by the representative of Venezuela (Jorge Valero). From this platform we demand the lifting of unilateral coercive measures against our country.

We demand the return of companies, assets and money that has been stolen from the Venezuelan people. We demand the cessation of the commercial and financial blockade against our people and against any of the peoples who are being subjected to sanctions and who today have this magnificent opportunity to express themselves and generate joint conclusions in this event.

Thank you.

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