UN Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan on Friday stressed the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, saying that such moves have led to fewer resources and inadequate medical equipment.

Iran PressAmerica: Alena Douhan, Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, underscored her commitment to the goal of minimizing the impact of unilateral sanctions, which could hamper the delivery of, and access to, medical equipment needed to combat COVID‑19.

Companies and banks around the globe refuse to deal with sanctioned countries, fearing the secondary impact of these measures, she said, touching on their adverse effects in Cuba, Syria, and Iran, leading to fewer resources and inadequate medical equipment.

Turning to the delivery of humanitarian assistance, she repeatedly insisted that humanitarian exemptions do not work and that calls to lift sanctions have regrettably had little impact. 

"Many countries have refused to lift them, while others have actively enlarged them, including the United States through its Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act (Caesar Act)," she explained, stressing that the common use of these measures does not make them legal.

Experts also told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural) on Friday that Multilateralism and international cooperation are needed to ensure less developed countries can adequately address the enormous challenges posed by the COVID‑19 pandemic.

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