World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN warns against harsh effects of sanctions on civilians

Sanctions must not degenerate into blockades which expose innocent people to the ravages of economic war in peacetime without the protection of the Geneva Conventions aimed at safeguarding civilians in war time, says Idriss Jazairy, the UN Special Rapporteur on the effect of sanctions on human rights.

“While sanctions have usually led to countries, or groups of countries, refusing to trade with the targeted State, the imposition of blockades has the additional sting of preventing trade with other willing trade partners,” said Mr. Jazairy in a presentation to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Special Rapporteur told the Council there was a clear risk that Iran, Syria, Gaza and possibly Venezuela were having to cope with a blockade situation.

“There is a need for differences between States to be resolved through peaceful means as advocated by the UN Charter, while avoiding exposing innocent civilians to collective punishment,” he said.

The Special Rapporteur expressed concern about the increasing resort to unilateral sanctions, and in particular the banning of business or trade with companies and corporations from third party countries not involved in imposing the measures.

Mr. Jazairy also reported on his mission to Brussels for talks with European Union officials. While welcoming efforts made by the EU to ensure its restrictive measures have due process and human rights protections, the Special Rapporteur urged the EU to consider ways of limiting the extra-territorial effect of “secondary sanctions” which go beyond the targeted country.

With regard to Syria, the Special Rapporteur concluded that however grave the human rights situation is in the country, the imposition of further suffering on innocent civilians through unilateral sanctions only further worsens their situation. He said he would focus on making humanitarian exceptions to internationally imposed measures effective, until States lift all sanctions that are harming human rights.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>


New IPCC Report: ‘Unprecedented Changes’ Needed To Limit Global Warming

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes,” such as ditching coal for electricity to slash carbon emissions, says a special report that finds some of the actions needed are already under way, but the world must move faster… More>>


Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>


MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>


Sulawesi Quake, Tsunami: Aid Response Begins

Oxfam and its local partners are standing by to deploy emergency staff and resources to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, as an estimated 1.5 million people are thought to be affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit on Friday. More>>


Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC