Finnish Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend international conference on Venezuelan crisis

Finnish Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend international conference on Venezuelan crisis

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will participate in the International solidarity conference on the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis, co-hosted by the EU and the UN in Brussels on 28–29 October 2019.

The aim of the conference is to increase awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and the impact of migration across the region and to look for solutions by coordinating international cooperation. Besides the foreign ministers of the EU member states, participants include representatives from Latin American and Caribbean countries, international organisations, CSOs active in the region, international financial institutions and private sector actors.

The humanitarian situation in Venezuela continues to be critical, and the impacts of the massive exodus contribute to instability across Latin America. The crisis has prolonged beyond reason, leading to a situation where, according to UN estimates, over seven million Venezuelans now require humanitarian assistance.

“The international community is pressed to find solutions to mitigate the situation. Coordinating international cooperation is key, and this is what the conference is all about. Finland supports EU action to coordinate humanitarian response, backing all efforts to find a peaceful and democratic solution to the political crisis behind this disaster,” says Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.

Some 4.5 million Venezuelans have already fled the country since 2014. This migration has wide-ranging effects: the UN estimates that to date more than 20 countries have received Venezuelan refugees. The country hardest hit by migratory pressure is neighbouring Colombia, where already more than 1.4 million Venezuelans have fled. In Europe, by far the largest number of Venezuelans have arrived in Spain.

“The Venezuelan migration crisis also has repercussions in Europe. During the first half of 2019, Venezuelans were the second largest group of asylum seekers entering EU territory. That’s why we need to address this crisis and the reasons behind it,” Minister Haavisto says.

In Brussels, he will have the chance to receive first-hand information on the Venezuelan situation and the impacts of the crisis in the region, while also holding talks with his Latin American and Caribbean colleagues.

Inquiries: Jeri Aalto, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 472 0725 or Counsellor Anu Vuori-Kiikeri, Director of the Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean, tel: +358 50 462 4135.

The Foreign Ministry's email addresses are of the format [email protected]