News ID: 267061
Published: 1019 GMT March 24, 2020

Guterres calls for rolling back sanctions to battle pandemic

Guterres calls for rolling back sanctions to battle pandemic

United Nations leadership called for rolling back international sanctions regimes around the world, saying they are heightening the health risks for millions of people and weakening the global effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The appeal reflects mounting concerns that sanctions regimes may be impeding efforts in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe to battle the coronavirus, and enhancing the prospects of the pathogen’s spread to other countries, reported foreignpolicy.com.

“I am encouraging the waiving of sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support. This is the time for solidarity not exclusion,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres wrote in a letter to the G-20 economic powers. “Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world.”

Earlier, Russia urged the US to immediately lift Iranian sanctions that prevent Tehran from effectively fighting the new coronavirus outbreak. 

Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, also said on Tuesday that “in a context of global pandemic, impeding medical efforts in one country heightens the risk for all of us.”

“At this crucial time, both for global public health reasons, and to support the rights and lives of millions of people in these countries, sectoral sanctions should be eased or suspended,” she said.

   
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