UN Secretary General calls for lifting sanctions that prevent countries from fighting COVID-19

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres supports the lifting of sanctions that prevent states from fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

“As you may know, in her statement of March 24, 2020, which I fully support, Michelle Bachelet (head of OHCHR) called for an urgent review of broad sectoral sanctions in countries facing the coronavirus pandemic to avoid the collapse of the medical system, taking into account the explosive effect that this can have on statistics of mortality, suffering and further spread of infection,” Guterres said.

“When I addressed the G20 on March 26, I also called for the lifting of sanctions that could undermine countries’ ability to fight the pandemic, ” he added.

According to the UN Secretary-General, he is concerned “that the position of private businesses seeking to avoid risks may continue to hinder legitimate humanitarian aid operations, especially in the banking sector.”

Earlier, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the comprehensive fight against the coronavirus pandemic. It recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest global challenges in the history of the UN.

According to the text, the UN General Assembly “calls on states to refrain from enacting and applying any unilateral economic, financial and trade measures that do not comply with international law and the UN Charter and hinder full economic and social development, especially in developing countries.”