New York

28 October 2016

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Venezuela

The Secretary-General continues to follow with concern the situation in Venezuela. He welcomes the Vatican's joining of the ongoing initiative by former Heads of State and Government to promote dialogue between the Government of Venezuela and the political opposition, under the auspices of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). He also welcomes the expressions of support for this initiative from the international community. 

The Secretary-General calls on all national actors to take tangible measures to reduce polarisation and engage sincerely in the dialogue process. He underscores the importance of adhering to the rule of law and the Constitution, while ensuring respect for human rights, including freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly. He further calls on all citizens, regardless of their political perspective, to exercise those rights responsibly. 

Above all, the Secretary-General reiterates his strong conviction that the Government and the opposition should make concerted efforts to focus on the country’s current challenges, including to effectively address the socio-economic needs of the country, for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.