Venezuelan Ambassador Accepts GFDD’s Invitation for the Global Roundtable Program

May 21, 2013

For the sixteenth edition of its online broadcast program “Global Roundtable,” GFDD has the pleasure to invite Jorge Valero Briceño, Permanent Representative of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations.

As a distinguished academic and politician, Ambassador Valero received his University degree in history from the University of the Andes and MA degree in Latin American studies from the University of London. While teaching
in undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of the Andes and the Central University of Venezuela, his first steps up on the political career ladder were as President of the Latin American Parliament’s Social Debt Commission. Further successes came along quite quickly, putting him in office as Deputy in the Venezuelan Chamber of Deputies, Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Venezuela’s Representative on the Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for
International Development and the President of the Presidential Preparatory Commission for the OPEC Summit hosted in Caracas in 2000. Mr. Valero currently serves as Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations and Chairman of the Commission for Social Development.

On behalf of GFDD, its Executive Director, Natasha Despotovic will welcome the honoured guest to a discussion on a broad range of questions that are of interest to our audiences, including changes
in Venezuela’s domestic and foreign policies after the recent presidential elections; the perspective of strengthening the former President’s initiative of ALBA (Allianza Boliviriana para los Pueblos de Nuestra America); international community’s commitments evoked after the Social Development Summit in Copenhagen and current strategies to eradicate poverty; Member States’ initiatives for financing for development; as well as
Venezuela’s plan to translate sustainable development policies into action.

About Venezuela
Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some
social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Hugo Chavez, president from 1999 to 2013, sought to implement his “21st Century Socialism,” which purported to alleviate social ills while at the same time attacking capitalist globalization and existing democratic institutions.

Venezuela’s economy remains highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for roughly 95% of export earnings, about 45% of federal budget
revenues, and around 12% of GDP. Fuelled by high oil prices, record government spending helped to boost GDP growth by 4.2% in 2011, after a sharp drop in oil prices caused an economic contraction in 2009-10. President Hugo Chavez’s efforts to increase the government’s control of the economy by nationalizing firms in the agribusiness, financial, construction, oil, and steel sectors have hurt the private investment environment, reduced productive capacity, and slowed
non-petroleum exports.

Current concerns for the newly established government encompass weakening of democratic institutions, political polarization, politicized military, rampant violent crime, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.

About the Global Roundtable
In close association
with the United Nations, the Mission of the Dominican Republic to the UN, GFDD organizes regular meetings with UN Ambassadors and other prominent figures in the international community in an effort to spread the news, knowledge and understanding of other countries, global issues and work of different United Nations bodies to its audience in the Dominican Republic, the US and around the world.

The regular series, GFDD Global Roundtable is also a part of GFDD’s
program to support the work of the United Nations and, as a non-governmental institution affiliated to it, contribute to the visibility and understanding of its work.

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