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

 

Punishment Of ‘Innocent Civilians’ Through Government Sanctions Must End: UN Experts

Unilateral coercive measures by some governments are denying many people around the world the right to personal development, as well as holding back sustainable national development, four independent UN human rights experts said on Wednesday.

The Human Rights Council-appointed experts called on all nations imposing punitive unilateral sanctions on other countries, to withdraw or at least minimize them, to guarantee that the rule of law and human rights are not affected, including the right to development.

“The precautionary principle should be applied by States when unilateral sanctions are taken to avoid any negative humanitarian impact on the whole scope of human rights, including the right to development”, the experts said in a statement.

“The punishment of innocent civilians must end”.

Respect inalienable rights

The independent experts reminded that the General Assembly declared the right to development “an inalienable human right”, which is recognized by “a range of multilateral human rights declarations”, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as the Arab Charter on Human Rights.

Implementing unilateral sanctions – such as secondary sanctions against people who allegedly interact with sanctioned people and Governments, and national civil and criminal penalties – result in over-compliance, according to the UN experts.

And these measures exacerbate and expand their impact, not just to every individual or company where they are in force, but also to third country nationals and companies, humanitarian organizations, donors and beneficiaries of humanitarian aid.

Sanctions hold countries back from development, they hold back people as well, and in a globalizing world, that hurts everyone”, the independent experts stated.

Impeding development

The experts underscored that people in targeted countries like Venezuela, Cuba, Syria and Iran, sink into poverty because they cannot get essential services like electricity, housing, water, gas and fuel, let alone medicine and food.

Sanctions make it harder for entire populations to stay healthy and hamper the transportation of goods needed for economic development, result in the waste of natural resources, undermine environmental sustainability and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, they explained.

For example, when sanctions imposed by the United States block teleconferencing and data services in countries, people are cut off from webinars and online meetings for information, exchanges, education and training, and doctors cannot consult medical data bases, the experts continued.

Activities essential to every country’s development suffer when unilateral sanctions are imposed”, they spelled out.

The four UN experts who signed the statement, are Alena Douhan, UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights; Obiora Okafor, Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity; Livingstone Sewanyana,Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order; and Tlaleng Mofokeng Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

The experts are neither UN staff nor paid for their work.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


UN: UNHCR Chief Urges Better Support For 13 Million 'Exhausted' And Displaced Syrians
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has urged greater international support for the more than 13 million Syrians who’ve been displaced in the past 10 years...More>>


>UN: Recent Kosovo-Serbia Tensions Could ‘Unravel Steady But Fragile Progress’

Tensions over vehicle licence plates and anti-smuggling operations, between authorities in Kosovo and Serbia, in recent weeks, may contribute to unravelling “steady but fragile progress made in rebuilding trust among communities” in Kosovo and Serbia...
More>>

ITUC: Nobel Prize In Economics Explodes Minimum Wage And Jobs Myth

The prize was awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for real-world research in the 1990s that demonstrated, empirically, that the idea touted by conservative economists that higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs is not based on fact... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>


COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>


UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>