The UN has stated that unilateral sanctions are causing enormous humanitarian damage to countries

Alyona Dukhan, the organisation’s Special Rapporteur, said that the pandemic “has made the negative effects of unilateral restrictive measures even more evident”

Unilateral sanctions, which bypass the UN Security Council, violate human rights and prevent countries from fighting the Coronavirus pandemic. This was reported on Wednesday by UN Special Rapporteur Alain Dukhan, speaking at an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on illegal unilateral sanctions convened at the initiative of Russia, China, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Niger and South Africa.

“The humanitarian damage from unilateral sanctions is enormous”, –  she said. – “They affect economic, social and civil rights, including the right to development. Dukhan pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic “has made the negative impact of unilateral restrictive measures even more evident.”

According to her, such measures violate a number of basic rights of the citizens of the countries for which they are imposed. “One of them is the right to health, as many of the affected countries do not have sufficient medical facilities, equipment and personnel to treat COVID-19 and other diseases,” said the UN representative.

In addition, “the worsening economic situation resulting from sanctions is affecting citizens’ labour rights and increasing poverty,” added Dukhan.

She recalled the UN Secretary General’s call in March to lift unilateral sanctions during the pandemic. “I reiterate my call on all countries to completely stop or minimise the use of unilateral measures that have not been approved by the Security Council”, –  concluded the Special Rapporteur.

The EU representative who took part in the meeting replied that “all EU sanctions are narrowly targeted” and are used against governments that violate human rights.


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