Side Event convened by the Group of Friends in Defense of the UN Charter, on the sidelines of the works of the Third Committee of the General Assembly
New York, 12 October 2022
The Member States of the Group of Friends in Defense of the UN Charter convened a side event on the margins of the works of the Third Committee of the General Assembly (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), under the theme “The negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the full enjoyment of human rights in face of the multifaceted global crisis, including its food, health, energy, finance, climate, development and digital divide dimensions”.
According to the Concept Note prepared for the event, “the trend of growing recourse towards the promulgation and application of unilateral coercive measures (UCMs), coupled with the implementation of secondary sanctions, continues to be not only of great concern, but also to constitute a serious violation of the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, as well as of the basic norms of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law”.
The document goes on by noting that “several resolutions and declarations adopted by United Nations entities and human rights bodies, including the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, the members of the international community have unequivocally expressed both their condemnation and increasing concerns over the negative impact of UCMs on the full enjoyment of human rights, including the right to development, of peoples from targeted States, including those in vulnerable conditions”, and that, “despite such a reality, UCMs continue to be promulgated, implemented and even expanded, including within the context of the current COVID-19 global pandemic, in clear disregard for their negative impact on the economic, social and humanitarian fields, while totally ignoring their extraterritorial implications”.
Similarly, the Concept Note highlighted that “today, the world is seeing the application of a new generation of UCMs that are much more destructive than ever before. As a matter of fact, given their wide scope, extraterritorial implications and systemic nature, these so-called “sanctions” are deliberately exacerbating the multifaceted crisis humanity is facing nowadays and will continue to, on the one side, negatively impact global economy as a whole, while also causing and prolonging human suffering around the world, unless a complete and immediate end is put to them, in order to allow all nations to fully pursue their productive potentials and contribute to the stabilization and overcoming of current challenges”.
The event had a panel of stellar experts in the field, including Professor Alena Douhan (UN Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights), Professor Jeffrey Sachs (Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development at Columbia University), Professor Alfred de Zayas (former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic & Equitable International Order), and Dr. Xiaomei Li (Special Representative for Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China).