Diego Enrique Arria Salicetti (born 8 October 1938 - Caracas, Venezuela ), is a Venezuelan politician, diplomat, former Venezuelan Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations (1991–1993) and President of the Security Council (March 1992). He was Governor of the Federal District of Caracas in the mid-1970s. Other positions have included Diplomatic Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. Arria was also a critic of former President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, and denounced him at the International Criminal Court at the Hague for crimes against humanity. Chávez died before the court judged his case.
Arria was schooled partly in Caracas and partly at the Augusta Military Academy at Fort Defiance, Virginia. He obtained a degree in economics and political science from the University of Michigan. Arria worked for the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. until he returned to Venezuela in 1969, initially as Director of Tourism in Rafael Caldera's Ministry of Development, and later as president of the CONAHOTU (National Corporation of Hotels and Tourism), and president of Venezuelan Tourism Corporation.
Arria resigned as head of Venezuela Tourism Corporation to create the political movement Causa Común (Common Cause) that later supported the presidential candidacy of Carlos Andrés Pérez (CAP). In 1973, Arria was elected member of the National Congress, representing the state of Miranda. Shortly after CAP was elected in March 1974, he appointed Arria Governor of the Federal District ( Caracas), at a time when this was one of the most important presidential appointments. In 1976 when he was Governor of the Federal District he went to Chile to negotiate with President Pinochet the release of his friend Orlando Letelier, his colleague at the Inter American Development Bank in D.C. Pinochet released Letelier, but soon after, Letelier was murdered with a car bomb in Washington D.C by Pinochet's order. Arria intervened again by bringing Leterlier's body to be buried in Caracas, where he remained until the end of Pinochet's rule. He subsequently moved from the governorship to become Minister of Information and Tourism in February 1977. He resigned on 17 March 1978, in order to stand as an independent candidate in the Venezuelan presidential election, 1978. As part of his campaign he published two books: "Primero La Gente" ("The People First") and "Dedicación a una Causa" ("Dedication to a Cause").
In 2012 Arria was an independent candidate for the presidential nomination of the Coalition for Democratic Unity for the Venezuelan presidential election, 2012. Primary elections were held on February 12, 2012, with Henrique Capriles Radonski winning the nomination.
Arria was Venezuelan Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations from 1991 to 1993, and was President of the Security Council (March 1992), during Venezuela's membership of the Security Council. Arria later became Special Advisor to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN, He initiated the eponymous 'Arria formula' a very informal consultation process which affords members of the Security Council the opportunity to hear persons in a confidential, informal setting. These meetings are presided over by a member of the Council as service facilitator for the discussion and not by the President of the Council. Arria has described this formula as a way of ensuring that members 'have to be honest'. He was chairman during the massacres at Srebrenica. After visiting the enclave he warned of its impending doom and predicted the massacres saying it was "slow motion Genocide" and the besieged enclave itself as "a concentration camp policed by UNPROFOR ".
Other positions have included Diplomatic Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of the Americas and of Freedom Now, and of the Board of Advisors of Inter-American Dialogue. He has been a Director at The Columbus Group, and is currently the Chairman of the Advisory Board at Athelera LLC as well as a Member of the Board of Advisors at VMS Associates, LLC.
In November 2011, Arria filed charges for crimes against humanity against Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
On April 30, 2010, Arria's ranch "La Carolina" in Yaracuy State was taken over by the Venezuelan government. Minister of Agriculture Elias Jaua "declared that lawyers and historians working for the National Lands Institute (INTI) ha[d] not been able to find continuity of ownership deeds in the national register and therefore the lands are "fallow" and return to the State". According to government officials the ranch was unproductive and was a case of idle lands; according to Arria, the farm had 300 cattle and 90% of it was under some form of agricultural development.  When becoming aware of the expropriation threat Dr. Arria took photos of the farm and the cattle and posted them on the Internet, including the one used to illustrate this paragraph. Correo del Orinoco , a state-owned newspaper, reporting their claims that Arria's declarations about expropriation and loot by the Ministry of Agriculture are "subversive and tend to urge the homicide of Hugo Chavez ". According to Arria, the expropriation was a reaction to Arria's participation in the Oslo Freedom Forum, where he stated that Chavez will have to face International Justice one day for his "crimes" against the Venezuelan people. He has since described the ranch's seizure as 'pillaging and ransacking'.
Diego Arria and several other opposition figures were the victims of an attempt by the Venezuelan government to falsely accuse them of a fabricated plot. A top Venezuelan government official, Jorge Rodriguez, alleged he had uncovered emails between the accused that proved their guilt, resulting in Venezuela's attorney general Luisa Ortega Díaz subpoenaing Arria as a witness, along with María Corina Machado, Pedro Burelli, and Ricardo Koesling,  and a week later on June 11, warrants were issued for their arrest. However, the defendants hired Kivu, a U.S.-based cybersecurity company, with Kivu performing an analysis of the alleged emails covered in the Venezuelan government's report, stating that there was "no evidence of the existence of any emails between Pedro Burelli's Google email accounts and the alleged recipients", that the alleged emails had "many indications of user manipulation", and that " Venezuelan officials used forged emails to accuse government adversaries of plotting to kill President Nicolas Maduro".