New York, 5 October 2020. During the general debate of the Third Committee of the United Nations, the Permanent Representative of China, on behalf of 20 nations, called for the immediate lifting of unilateral coercive measures, since they are contrary to international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
The countries that signed the declaration were: Cuba, Antigua and Barbuda, Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, Laos, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, Saint Vicente and the Grenadines, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and China.
These countries denounced that despite the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, unilateral coercive measures continue to be applied that hinder the capacity of States to ensure the right to health of their populations, since they stymie the access to medicines and technologies, medical equipment and supplies.
The joint statement recalls the remarks of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who called for the suspension of these measures in the midst of the pandemic.
It also noted that the General Assembly of the United Nations recently adopted the resolution entitled “Comprehensive and coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic”, which strongly urges States to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic or financial measure.
Several United Nations special rapporteurs and high representatives have called for the lifting of unilateral sanctions since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them, the Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, Alena Douhan, underscored the Chinese Ambassador.
Coincidentally, most of the unilateral economic coercive measures are applied against underdeveloped countries. The oldest system of this type of sanction is the economic, financial and commercial blockade of the United States against Cuba for over six decades.
Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations