Swedish Statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on Nicaragua
National Statement delivered by Ambassador Olof Skoog on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the Cooperation between the UN and Regional Organizations in Maintaining International Peace and Security – the Situation in Nicaragua, 05 September 2018, New York.
Thank you very much Madam President,
Congratulations to you and the United States on assuming the presidency. Our respect, gratefulness and admiration to the UK for the way you presided over the Security Council last month.
I want to thank Dr. Gonzalo Koncke from the Organisation of American States and Félix Maradiaga, for their important briefings to the Security Council this morning. I would also like to acknowledge the presence of Foreign Minister Denis Moncada.
Both the OAS and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have reported about the unfolding human rights crisis in Nicaragua. Hundreds have been killed and there are worrying reports of targeted violence and persecution against peaceful protesters and human rights defenders, and of incidents of torture and sexual violence against detainees. Accounts of the existence and use of armed elements loyal to the Government – or so called “shock forces” and “mobs” – are particularly alarming. This crisis has potential regional implications, and needs to be addressed in a spirit of preventive diplomacy. The Security Council’s role is first and foremost to support these efforts.
We urge the Government to revive the national dialogue with all concerned parties, including the opposition, civil society and human rights defenders. Women’s participation in these dialogues is crucial. This is the only way to ensure a peaceful solution to the current crisis.
We condemn all violence, including from protesters. The Nicaraguan authorities must act in accordance with international human rights law. Protests that are peaceful should never be hindered, and violence against those who use their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly can never be justified.
Regional and sub-regional organizations are key to preventing emerging crises from evolving further, as everyone have said today. Today’s presentations illustrate this. We commend and support the OAS for its role in promoting a peaceful solution to the situation in Nicaragua. In this regard we call on the Government of Nicaragua to fully engage with the OAS, as well as with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
The United Nations also has an important role to play in supporting a peaceful solution to the crisis, not least in supporting regional efforts and with preventive diplomacy. We regret the expulsion of the OHCHR mission last week, and hope that they will be invited back without delay. We welcome the Secretary-General’s efforts, and encourage him to continue to stay actively engaged. The European Union will continue its dialogue with all parties, and actively support efforts of the broader international community.
Sweden has longstanding and friendly relations with Nicaragua. We are fully committed to supporting the country in finding a peaceful solution to the current crisis. Resuming inclusive meaningful national dialogue, reinvigorating democracy, restoring rule of law, respecting human rights, and reengaging with the international community, including the UN and OAS, will be crucial to this.
Thank you Madam President.