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News > Joint Communique International Seminar on Unilateral Coercive Measures (UCMs) and their Impacts


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Joint Communique International Seminar on Unilateral Coercive Measures (UCMs) and their Impacts

Joint Communique
 
International Seminar
on
Unilateral Coercive Measures (UCMs) and their Impacts

(Cuba, Islamic Republic of Iran, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela)
Vienna, 27th of June 2019

  1. Unilateral sanctions (primary and/or secondary), are the main element of the “Unilateral Coercive Measures (UCMs)”. It usually refers to economic measures taken by one State, or a group of States outside the United Nations Security Council framework, and in contravention with the two Covenants, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Charter of the United Nations, and various Resolutions of General Assembly of the United Nations.
  2. The new era is checkered with an excessive use of unilateral sanctions, especially of secondary and extra-territorial implications. Secondary sanctions are often-times imposed on the premise of extra-territorial jurisdiction and authority of one State over the others, in absolute contradiction with the International Law, which asserts that all States are independent and enjoy an equal legal status; thus, no State is allowed to execute its authority over the territory of the others, without their advance consent.
  3. Although, it is always proclaimed that sanctions are aiming at States, however it is the people of the States who suffer most. Sanctions have usually disproportionate impacts on the rights of people as envisaged in the International Covenant on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Sanctions endanger including the right to life, restrain the rights to food, decent job and basic standard of life, challenge the right to self-determination, weaken the educational and health regimes, and hinders on the way to development. Furthermore, the imposition of sanctions with negative human rights effects are illegitimate in accordance with the relevant International Law, and not only the imposing States are responsible for their violation of human rights, other States are not also bound by such measures.
  4. The United States of America is in the forefront of this unlawful behavior. The US is using this as a tool to impact on, or compel a change in, the policy of another State. During the past decades, it has spared no efforts to resort to trade sanctions, interrupt financial and investment flows, freeze assets, ban travels, to name just a few, in order to impose its will over another State. Acting as a self-declared global police, it is trampling on every international law and norms. For instance, since 1984, it has imposed more than 27 different sanctions regimes on various States, and only between 2009 and 2015, it has penalized different banks in almost seven countries for 13 billion dollars.
  5. All of our three countries (Cuba, Iran and Venezuela) are among the victims of this international aggression and economic terrorism by the United States:

As for Cuba, the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the US government was conceived, according to the undersecretary of state Lester Mallory’s classified Memorandum dated on April 1960, with the stated intention of “weakening the economic life of Cuba to bring about hunger desperation and overthrow of government”. Since its design, this policy of economic aggression has been one of the harshest and longest unilateral sanctions systems which have been implemented against any country. Such measures constitute the main obstacle to the aspirations of well-being and prosperity of several generations of Cubans; to the development of all the potentialities of the domestic economy, and considering its extraterritorial nature, to the development of Cuba's economic, commercial and financial relations with the rest of the world. Since 1992, within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly, 27 resolutions have been adopted by the international community, demanding that the United States unilaterally and unconditionally put an end to this policy of blockade, harassment and siege on Cuba. But, unfortunately, the laws and regulations underpinning this policy of blockade have been tightened and continue to be rigorously applied under the administration of President Donald Trump, as demonstrated by the recent activation of Title III of the "Helms-Burton Act".

Furthermore, since the revolution of the nation against the tyranny in 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran is also another victim of such heinous measures imposed by the United States. Iran’s experience shows that the true reason for imposing unilateral measures, especially with extra-territorial implications, is neither humanitarian nor peace and security, but to impose its will over other nations. Unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran have hurt mostly the basic human rights of the people and caused the deterioration of standard of living, health, education and development for innocent civilians, including food and medicine. While the US claims that it protects human rights all over the world, it is in gross violation of the Iranian fundamental rights by imposing unilateral sanctions. For instance, even for food and medicine, which are apparently exempted from sanctions, the ever-increasing restrictions on the financial transactions have created fears of punishment by the American Treasury, and caused uncertainty, among the exporters.

Although JCPOA put an end to all nuclear related sanctions against Iran, but with the unilateral withdrawal of the U.S from it, unilateral lifted sanctions were re-imposed alongside with imposition of new sanctions, in clear contradiction to the JCPOA and UNSC Resolution 2231. Even, unfortunately, the United States didn’t implement the provisional measures indicated by the ICJ on 3 Oct 2018, rather imposed more unilateral sanctions against Iran, aggravating the situation more, in defiance to the Court order. It is worth mentioning that, recently, Iran has suffered major floods and earthquakes, with around 23 of 31 provinces affected. Hundreds of villages and several cities were affected. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced, and dozens have passed away. The death toll could well grow, partly because international aid has been limited. Help was not forthcoming, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said, because "challenges caused by unilateral sanctions will affect the U.N. response and the accountability of the U.N. to deliver the appropriate support."

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is also under severe unilateral coercive measures since 2014. A report issued by the US Department of State acknowledges that at least 150 UCMs have been imposed against Venezuela in the last three years only. The goal of such unilateral measures is to asphyxiate the economy and generate a scenario of death and confrontation that would eventually lead to a regime change, and would allow the US to have unrestricted access to the largest oil reserves in the world. Sanctions targeted key sectors of the Venezuelan economy. The impacts of all these are magnified by imposing parallel sanctions on companies from the US and other countries that make deals with them. Just to show a glimpse of this situation, it is noteworthy that, the general mortality rate during 2017 and 2018 in Venezuela has increased to 31%, which means more than 40,000 deaths as a direct result of the UCMs.

  1. To sum up, in a globalized world, resorting to unilateral sanctions to punish or isolate other State(s) is neither legitimate nor legal, and should not be accepted by the international community as an option. Economic Sanctions are not consistent with human rights values, and it would be a wishful thinking if it is believed that sanctions would contribute to the human rights status in the targeted country.
  2. Because of such costly and predictable implications of sanctions, they should be seen as weapons of warfare and means of aggression. Economic Sanctions are, in fact, collective punishment of the ordinary people, contrary to the objectives and purposes of human rights, and should be considered as crimes against humanity. And, we, the three countries sponsoring this event stand firm in the defense of the principles of the right to self-determination, non-intervention, and equality of nations, with the conviction that multilateralism and international law should be the answer to UCMs.

To conclude, on behalf of the sponsors of this event, I would like to thank you, all the distinguished panelists, and all other participants, for your invaluable presence in support of the noble cause of maintaining multilateralism and rejecting unlawful unilateral coercive measures. 


19:26 - 27/06/2019    /    Number : 577580    /    Show Count : 55



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