Rights activists hail Venezuela’s departure from UN Human Rights Council Published duration 9 June 2019 Related Topics Venezuela crisis
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In a stunning and very public move, Venezuela has left the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The country will instead participate in a body that is not recognised by the international community and is generally despised by western governments.
Venezuela’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Juan Miguel Rodriguez, said the move was a “political decision”.
But he added that leaving the UNHRC was not a step to block moves to put anti-government protesters on trial.
Venezuela is the last country on the list.
‘A change of heart’
“Venezuelan people will be happy to participate in the new organisation,” Mr Rodriguez added.
“The government must now recognise the Venezuelan people as the ones in charge of their country.”
He said the decision was a “change of heart” and a recognition that “Venezuela is able to act decisively, in its sovereign right, to put an end to the corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency in this country”.
The new organisation, called the Venezuela Foundation, has a budget of $2.5m (£1.7m) and will have a secretariat in Switzerland. It will also appoint Venezuela’s permanent representative to the UN.
It will replace the current UNHRC, which is charged with examining war-crimes allegations and promoting human rights.
It means that Venezuela will have a seat on the UNHRC, which had a budget of $300m (about £232m) to $900m, but there will be no vote for the country in future.
The announcement was made on behalf of the government by Venezuela’s representative to the UN, Maria Corina Machado.
She said the announcement will “further strengthen and strengthen the political will of the Venezuelan people to advance the Bolivarian Revolution and defend the rights of the people and its environment”.
Venezuela’s international allies, including the US, UK and most countries in Europe, reacted with outrage to the vote, with Mr Rodriguez saying