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Joint Statement on Unilateral Coercive Measures at the Third Committee of the General Assembly at its 78 session

2023-10-17 12:39

Mr. Chair,

I have the honor to deliver a joint statement on behalf of a cross-regional group of 28 member states, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Belarus, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Cambodia, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mali, Nicaragua, Niger, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the State of Palestine, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Zimbabwe, and my own country China.

Our world is facing interlocking global challenges with developing countries disproportionately affected. A true, effective and functional multilateral system based on international solidarity, unity and cooperation is urgently needed more than ever.

And yet, despite the grave hardship and challenges, developing countries and their populations continue to fall victim to unilateral coercive measures, which run counter to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and International Law, multilateralism and the basic norms of international relations.

Mr. Chair,

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 reaffirm the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 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.

Regrettably, despite the global call to urgently lift unilateral coercive measures, the imposition of these illegal measures continues to cause devastating, sometimes even life-threatening consequences, to targeted countries and their peoples. Unilateral coercive measures, coupled with secondary sanctions and over-compliance, exacerbate existing humanitarian and economic challenges, result in lack of access to essential goods and services such as food, medicine, safe drinking water, fuel and electricity, and negatively affect the enjoyment of human rights, including the right to health and the right to life.

Moreover, unilateral coercive measures impede the ability of targeted countries to realize the right to health, including access to healthcare, vaccination, prevention of deceases, access to tests, medicine and medical equipment, and constitute a major obstacle to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. They also hinder humanitarian organizations’ ability to exercise their humanitarian activities and deliver life-saving assistance to affected people and families, in particular the most vulnerable.

We are also concerned that unilateral coercive measures and over-compliance have threatened other areas such as education and access to technology, scientific research and academic freedom, international cooperation in arts, culture and sports, free travel, just to name a few.

Mr. Chair,

We reaffirm that everyone was born with equal rights. Unilateral coercive measures deprive the affected population of the full realization of their human rights, including the right to development.

We welcome the Ministerial Declaration of the Group of 77 and China on reaffirming that the imposition of coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions, against developing countries does not contribute to economic and social development, including dialogue and understanding among countries. We also welcome 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 and take note of the reports, country visits and statements delivered by the Special Rapporteur.

We reaffirm our opposition to unilateral coercive measures and call on imposing States to immediately and completely cease such practice.

We call on States to avoid imposing future unilateral coercive measures. The current circumstance calls for solidarity and unity rather than confrontation and division to address global challenges and promote and protect human rights for all.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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