Venezuela proposes UN fund for countries facing ‘discrimination’

24 Sep 20

A fund to guarantee countries’ ability to access food and health products as they experience an economic blockade has been mooted by Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro.

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Nicolás Maduro

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro

 

Addressing the UN general assembly, the president said $30trn of Venezuelan money is currently frozen in US and European bank accounts because of international sanctions, and companies are being “persecuted” if they sell goods or services in the country – even food, medicine and fuel.

He has suggested “a revolving public purchasing fund within the United Nations system to guarantee access to food and health products, financed with public resources”.

“This will make it possible to face discrimination and the economic blockade against countries by making it easier for governments to acquire necessary goods and services,” he said.

Such a fund would be replenished as its resources were used, and would therefore not have fiscal-year resource limitations.

Maduro told the general assembly the pandemic presents an opportunity to “reflect on and promote the change of paradigms” that exist in the world, and that the UN should prioritise development and poverty eradication.

He said lockdown measures had increased social and economic inequalities, and called for the international community to help nations in need take care of their citizens and build more inclusive societies.

This would include strengthening financing policies and funds aimed at developing local economies and production chains, as well as the creation of a bank of free technology, universal education and training resources.

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