26 nations call for lifting sanctions to tackle coronavirus

TEHRAN, Oct. 06 (MNA) – 26 countries, including Iran, Syria, Russia, China and Iraq, issued a joint statement, calling for an immediate lifting of sanctions by the US and Western countries to ensure an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on behalf of the 26 countries at a meeting of the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee, China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said “unilateral coercive measures” violate the UN Charter, multilateralism, and impede human rights by hindering “the well-being of the population in the affected countries” and undermining the right to health, The Hindu reported.

"Global solidarity and international cooperation are the most powerful weapons in fighting and overcoming COVID-19,” the joint statement said. “We seize this opportunity to call for the complete and immediate lifting of unilateral coercive measures, in order to ensure the full, effective and efficient response of all members of the international community to COVID-19.”

Among the countries that backed the statement were half a dozen that face sanctions by the United States, European Union or other Western nations including Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Russia, Syria and Venezuela.

The statement notes that both UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet have called for the waiving of sanctions that undermine a country’s capacity to respond to the pandemic.


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