Conscious of the severity of the current crisis in Venezuela and the impact it’s having on the region

Deeply troubled by the difficult situation that the Venezuelan people are in
The International Contact Group (ICG) on Venezuela held its first meeting in Montevideo on 7 February 2019.

The ICG aims to weld a common international approach to support a peaceful, political, democratic resolution to the crisis. A solution that is truly Venezuelan. This will be a solution that rules out the use of force and will be achieved through presidential elections that are free, transparent and credible and comply with the Venezuelan Constitution.

So that Venezuela can overcome the current crisis, it is crucial to restore full democracy, the Rule of Law, the Separation of Powers and respect for the constitutional mandate of the Country’s institutions, specifically, the democratically elected National Assembly.

The ICG highlights that the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Venezuelans must be respected. It deplores the deaths and injuries caused by the excessive use of force and emphasizes that resorting to violence is never a solution.

At its first meeting, the Group analysed the situation the country was in and discussed how the Group could help to find a peaceful way that could lead to fresh presidential elections taking place with all the conditions and guarantees necessary under the Constitution as were established according to the ICG’s terms of reference.

The ICG also acknowledges the humanitarian crisis – a crisis that continues to deepen day after day affecting millions of Venezuelans. The Group expressed its commitment to hand out more assistance in areas where it is needed and to coordinate its delivery together with the Special Representative of ACNUR/OIM, Mr Eduardo Stein.

To achieve this, the ICG through its co presidents, will proceed to make the necessary contacts with the relevant Venezuelan actors and its regional and international partners with a view to:
I) establishing the necessary guarantees for a credible electoral process in the shortest time possible
II) permitting the urgent delivery of help following the international principles of humanitarian aid.
To implement both these ends, the Group shall send a technical mission to the country.
The ICG will call another meeting at the ministerial level at the beginning of March to analyse developments.

This Declaration has been agreed by the members of the International Contact Group: Uruguay, the European Union, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Germany, France, Holland and the United Kingdom.

Anoosha Boralessa