World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Clash at UN Assembly

Clash at UN Assembly: Venezuela Objects as Aunt of Jailed Opposition Leader Calls for Urgent Human Rights Council Debate

GENEVA, March 7, 2014 - Venezuela's representative to the UN Human Rights Council vociferously objected today when the aunt of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, speaking on behalf of the non-governmental human rights group UN Watch, called on the 47-nation body to convene an urgent debate on the escalating situation and to dispatch a commission of inquiry.


Immediately following the clash, UN Watch submitted to U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton a draft letter that would convene an urgent debate on Venezuela, as well as a draft resolution to condemn Venezuela's violations of human rights, suspend the government of president Nicolas Maduro from the Human Rights Council, and create a commission of inquiry.

"The leading democracies must take action now to ensure the UN upholds its obligations to protect the human rights of the Venezuelan people," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

Julieta Lopez, who lives in Geneva, took the floor today during an interactive dialogue with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, part of a 4-week session that saw Venezuelan foreign Minister Elias Jaua meet Ban Ki-moon on Monday.

“Madam High Commissioner, the alarming situation in Venezuela is very personal for me,” said Ms. Lopez. “You have spoken of the large number of people arrested for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression. Well, my nephew, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, is one of those people."


"For peacefully exercising [his basic] human rights last month, Leopoldo -- a husband and father of two little children -- was arrested and placed in a military prison, in a 2 by 3 meter prison cell. He sleeps on the floor. He is allowed minimal access to sunlight and fresh air," Lopez told the assembly.

Lopez thanked Pillay for calling earlier this week for an "impartial, full and independent investigation into every single case of death and injury" in Venezuela. Lopez also noted that six of the Council's independent experts yesterday echoed the appeal.

Venezuelan delegate Edgardo Torro Careño interrupted as soon as Lopez called for the Council to hold an urgent debate.

"We apologize for interrupting this session, but we found ourselves obliged to take the floor on a point of order given that we are currently assessing the report of the High Commissioner which was presented to the Human Rights Council, and we are not on item 4 of the agenda discussing the situation of human rights which require the attention of the Council."

UN Watch dismissed the objection, saying that its statement was fully appropriate.

"It's time for the council to stop turning a blind eye to the escalating human rights crisis in Venezuela, which has already claimed hundreds of casualties. We need to see an urgent debate, the adoption of a resolution, and the undoing of the council's shameful election of Venezuela last year as one of its members," said Neuer.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news