Statement by Minister Haavisto in Lima
Statement by Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto at an international conference on Venezuela in Lima, Peru on 6 August 2019
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- Finland, currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, has followed with increasing concern the developments in Venezuela. The plight of millions of Venezuelans is intolerable due to lack of food, medicine, sanitation, electricity. Millions have also fled the country. The numbers keep growing unless a political, peaceful solution is found quickly.
- The crisis in Venezuela has been building up for a long time. It has become a major source of instability in the region. The crisis is multidimensional and requires an urgent political solution. To achieve this, the country needs a peaceful, democratic and nationally-owned process leading to free and fair presidential elections.
- We highly value the endeavours of the Lima Group whose members – beside Venezuela - are most affected by the humanitarian crises and the massive influx of refugees. All countries receiving Venezuelan refugees require the support of the international community.
- Finland warmly supports the talks facilitated by the Government of Norway. We hope we can soon witness progress and a genuine commitment demonstrated by the parties.
- Particularly, we urge those political powers controlling the police force in Venezuela to dismantle the ”colectivos” [pro-government armed community organisations].
- We also fully endorse the role and activities of the International Contact Group in levelling the road for humanitarian aid and elections. The organisation of transparent and internationally monitored elections is a key first step towards stability and re-instituting all relevant public powers.
- The recent report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, confirms the extent and seriousness of the human rights situation in Venezuela. We have called upon the regime for an immediate halt of the widespread human rights violations and to engage in full cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner and all UN Special Procedures to secure the implementation of the report’s recommendations.
- For Finland, conflict prevention and resolution, including mediation have been long-term priorities of our foreign policy.
- Finland’s approach to mediation is holistic and emphasises inclusivity. Permanent solutions to conflicts can only be achieved by addressing the underlying political, economic and social problems. Sustainable peace cannot be built on structures that maintain inequality.
- Whether we talk about formal or informal dialogues or peace processes, local ownership and inclusiveness are crucial for a lasting peace. It is essential that women, youth, the civil society as well as traditional and religious actors and marginalised groups have a role in peace processes.
- The ongoing negotiations demand flexibility and compromise from all, but can open the way for a peaceful solution to the Venezuelan crisis. We as international community need to support in a coordinated way all the efforts to achieve results in these negotiations. It is, I believe, the best way to tackle the humanitarian crisis sustainably.