US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday asked the United Nations to recognize Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, telling the Security Council: "Nicolas Maduro must go."
Washington will present a draft resolution to the Security Council aimed at recognizing Guaido and appointing his representative as the ambassador to the world body, Pence told the council.
A draft resolution recognising Guaido is certain to be vetoed by Russia.
After appealing for UN recognition for Guaido, Pence turned to Venezuela's Ambassador Samuel Moncada, who was seated in the council chamber, and said: "With all due respect Mister Ambassador, you shouldn't be here." He advised him to return to Caracas and convey the message to Maduro that "his time is up. It's time for him to go."
The United States called the council meeting after a UN report detailed the heavy toll of the crisis from the collapse of Venezuela's oil economy.
More than 3.4 million people have left the country -- triggering a migrant crisis in neighbouring countries, and that figure is expected to reach five million by the end of the year.
"There is a very real humanitarian problem in Venezuela," said Lowcock, who asked the council to support a ramping up of the international aid response.
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