The suspension of economic sanctions against countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Myanmar and Zimbabwe was requested on Tuesday by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on the grounds that such unilateral and coercive measures attempt against human rights and access to health supplies necessary to face the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations Organization published on its website the statements of Bachelet, “at this decisive moment, sectoral sanctions should be reduced or suspended, both for reasons of public health as if to reinforce the rights and defend the lives of millions of people in those countries. In a context of a global pandemic, measures that hinder medical care in any country increase the risk that we all face.”
The High Commissioner adds that “humanitarian exemptions associated with sanctions should be applied more broadly and effectively, through the rapid and flexible authorization to supply medical equipment and supplies.”
La Alta Comisionada de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas, @mbachelet, se suma al justo, humano y urgente clamor mundial, al considerar que: "en este momento decisivo, las sanciones sectoriales deberían atenuarse o suspenderse…".https://t.co/6GWMfI7coQ
— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) March 24, 2020
Likewise, she warns that “in most of these countries the health systems are in a weak or fragile situation. Progress in defending human rights is essential to improve these systems, but measures that hinder the importation of essential medical supplies -among others the excessive zeal of banks in complying with sanctions- will cause lasting damage to the most vulnerable communities. The people of these countries are in no way responsible for the policies that have led to the sanctions and, to varying degrees, have already had to live in very adverse conditions for long periods of time.”
Bachelet gave the example of Iran, where at least 1,800 people have died from Covid-19 and human rights reports have already revealed the impact of sanctions on access to basic medicines and vital equipment at the moment, such as respirators or protection suits for health workers.
“No country can effectively combat this epidemic on its own. We need to act in solidarity, cooperation and protection,”concluded Bachelet.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza responded positively on his Twitter account. “The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michellet Bachelet, joins the just, humane and urgent world clamor, considering that: at this decisive moment, sectoral sanctions should be reduced or suspended.”
Venezuelan analysts claimed that the lack of condemnation against this measures (US sanctions) that are from all perspectives illegal, shows how submissive UN is to the United States’ arbitrary ruling of the world.
Translated by JRE/EF