1. The High Representative of the European Union, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Spain and Portugal, the Special Adviser for Venezuela of the EU, and a German Representative, members of the International Contact Group, as well as the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru, and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Honduras, members of the Lima Group, joined by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica and Panama, members of both Groups, gathered in New York today to discuss the situation in Venezuela.
2. They reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to the restoration of democracy, the respect for the rule of law and human rights in Venezuela, by means of a peaceful transition and the holding of free and transparent presidential elections. They renewed their support for the democratically elected National Assembly and its leadership.
3. They expressed their grave concern over the serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Venezuela, thoroughly documented in the report issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights last July. They highlighted the report’s finding that those violations result from a strategy "aimed at neutralizing, repressing and criminalizing political opposition and government critics" and underscored the pressing need to immediately release all political prisoners. They affirmed that they will continue coordinating effective human rights actions both in the context of the United Nations Human Rights Council and other international organizations.
4. The multidimensional crisis aggravates the dramatic humanitarian situation of the Venezuelan people. They welcomed the publication of the first Humanitarian Response Plan and the increase in assistance from the United Nations and other international humanitarian organizations. They called for an increase in humanitarian assistance and for more options for its delivery in line with internationally accepted principles.
5. The crisis has compelled more than 4.3 million Venezuelans to leave their country, which creates additional pressure for the countries of the region. Both groups acknowledged the efforts made by host countries. However, they noted that the needs still widely outweigh their capabilities. They urged the international community to substantially step up its solidarity and financial support. They welcomed the forthcoming International Solidarity Conference on the Venezuelan Refugee and Migrant Crisis, to be held in Brussels in October.
6. Both groups will continue to reach out to other actors in the international community and intensify their joint work, in a coordinated and complementary manner, towards supporting a political, peaceful and democratic solution to the Venezuelan crisis.
New York, 25 September 2019