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Joint Statement Delivered by H.E. Ambassador ZHANG Jun on behalf of a group of countries on Unilateral Coercive Measures

2021-09-30 11:30

Mr. President,

I have the honor to deliver a joint statement on behalf of Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Belarus, Bolivia, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Namibia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the State of Palestine, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Zimbabwe, and my own country China.

As COVID-19 continues to impose severe impacts on economic and social development in all countries, especially in developing countries, we call on all member states to address the pandemic through a global response based on unity, solidarity and international cooperation.

We reaffirm the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations as well as the duty of States to cooperate with one another in accordance with the Charter.

We are concerned about the use of unilateral coercive measures against developing countries which run counter to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and International Law, multilateralism and the basic norms of international relations.

We are deeply troubled by the negative consequences brought by unilateral coercive measures to targeted countries, which cause severe economic, social and humanitarian impact in these countries and severely hinder their effort for promoting and protecting human rights.

We are particularly concerned about the direct and indirect devastating impact to populations of the affected countries in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous reports and sources indicate that unilateral coercive measures cause severe shortage in essential supplies such as food, water, electricity, medicines and medical equipment for COVID-19, exacerbate poverty, make it difficult for countries to provide adequate humanitarian support on time, and hinder humanitarian organizations' ability to deliver life-saving assistance to affected people and families, especially the most vulnerable.

We reaffirm that everyone was born with equal rights. Unilateral coercive measures deprive the affected population of the full realization of their human rights, hinder their well-being and social welfare, in particular women, children, youth, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

We recall the Secretary-General's appeal of 26 March 2020 on the waiving of sanctions that undermine countries' capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the statement made by the High Commissioner for Human Rights on 23 March 2020 on the need to ease or suspend sectoral sanctions in light of their debilitating impact on the health sector and human rights. We also welcome the Group of 77 and China's statement calling to adopt urgent and effective measures to eliminate the use of unilateral coercive economic measures against developing countries, as well as the Non-Aligned Movement's Declarations and Communiques on condemning unilateral coercive measures and urging their elimination to ensure the effectiveness of national responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We recognize the work done by the Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, other special procedures of the Human Rights Council and relevant human rights treaty bodies.

We reaffirm the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and recall a number of GA resolutions, including the Omnibus Resolution on Comprehensive and coordinated response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which strongly urges states to refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

We call for complete and immediate lifting of current unilateral coercive measures toward targeted countries. It is imperative to ensure that affected countries have adequate resources and support for pandemic response and recovery, that humanitarian aid can reach those in need without any delay or impediment, and that the suffering of those populations cease immediately.

We urge states to avoid imposing future unilateral sanctions not in accordance with international law and the UN Charter. The current circumstance calls for solidarity and unity rather than confrontation and division to address the global challenge and promote and protect human rights for all.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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