UN chief saddened by death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez addresses the UN General Assembly in 2009. UN Photo/Erin Siegal

6 March 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was saddened by the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who died yesterday after struggling with cancer for almost two years.

A statement issued last night by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said that Mr. Chávez “spoke to the challenges and aspirations of the most vulnerable Venezuelans. He provided decisive impetus for new regional integration movements, based on an eminently Latin American vision, while showing solidarity toward other nations in the hemisphere.”

Mr. Chávez, 58, had ruled the country for 14 years.

Mr. Ban also praised Mr. Chávez’s contribution to the current peace talks in Colombia between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), saying they have been of “vital importance.”

Mr. Ban offered his condolences to the family of Mr. Chávez, and the Government and the people of Venezuela. He also renewed the UN’s commitment to work alongside the Government and its citizens in support of Venezuela’s development and prosperity.

The Security Council today observed a minute of silence in honour of Mr. Chávez.

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