The foreign ministers of Canada, Chile and Peru—members of the Lima Group—together with the High Representative of the European Union and the foreign ministers of Portugal and Uruguay—members of the International Contact Group—met today at the United Nations in New York to discuss the situation in Venezuela.
The meeting followed both groups’ decision to increase contacts with a view to contribute to a political, peaceful and democratic solution to the Venezuelan crisis. They agreed that although the solution needs to be a Venezuelan one, the regional impact of the crisis requires the region and the international community to play a more active role in supporting a prompt return to democracy in Venezuela.
Both groups confirmed their commitment to a peaceful transition leading to free and fair elections in Venezuela. In this respect they expressed their support for all efforts underway toward this goal. They reiterated their backing for the democratically elected National Assembly and affirmed the need to fully restore and respect its powers, as well as to release all political prisoners.
They agreed to continue their close interaction, including on outreach to other relevant international actors. Both groups will also continue to work together in denouncing human rights violations in the country in the context of the Human Rights Council and other multilateral bodies.
The Lima Group and the International Contact Group concurred on the gravity of the humanitarian situation, including the migration crisis, and committed to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan population and affected neighbouring countries in line with internationally agreed principles. They expressed their support for the coordinated response by the United Nations and underlined the need to scale up international support and ensure that humanitarian actors are able to deliver their assistance without restrictions or political interference.