End all unilateral sanctions, Pakistan to UN

05:47 PM | 26 Nov, 2020
End all unilateral sanctions, Pakistan to UN
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NEW YORK – Pakistan has urged world’s powerful countries to abolish the use of unilateral sanctions, highlighting that such moves subvert the lives of millions of people besides triggering food and health insecurities in the countries slapped with the restrictions.

Ambassador Munir Akram while expressing his view in an informal meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday said, “We believe that unilateral coercive measures are contrary to the purposes and principles and the UN Charter and goes against the basic norms of international law, multilateralism and international relations”.

Five members of 15-member council council — China, Russia, South Africa, Niger and Saint Vincent and Grenadines — called the meeting on “End Unilateral Coercive Measures (UCMs) Now” under the format of Arria formula, which is named after a former Venezuelan ambassador to the UN, Diego Arriva.

The meeting provides an opportunity to the members of the Security Council to hear person in a confidential, informal setting.

The Pakistani envoy opposing the unilateral sanctions said that such action made the target countries unable to exploit their full potential to work for sustainable development and climate change.

“The assumption that one actor, or a small group of actors, can be allowed to unilaterally employ coercive methods – often on the whims of their governments or leaders, or in attempts to pursue narrow policy objectives – contravenes the principle of collective security which is at the heart of the world order established after the Second World War,” Ambassador Akram said, adding that the UN was established precisely to check such abuses of power.

He highlighted that the UN General Assembly and the Security Council have recognized that people should not be deprived of their food and medicine.

Unilateral sanctions were all the more abhorrent when imposed to serve interests of one or more power states, Munir Akram said.

“As we fight a common enemy, the COVID-19 pandemic, that knows no borders and threatens us all alike, it is grotesque that millions of people in some of the victimized countries confront the double jeopardy of unilateral coercive measures arrogantly imposed by those who wield military and financial power in our unequal world order,” Ambassador Akram said.

“We urge an immediate end to the unilateral coercive sanctions which have negative impacts on health care and the human rights of vulnerable peoples.”

He said that Pakistan’s position on this issue was guided by international law and principles of fairness, justice and impartiality.