A Chinese envoy on Monday made a joint statement at the General Debate of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, on behalf of 26 countries, criticizing the United States and Western countries for violating human rights, calling for the complete and immediate lifting of unilateral sanctions, and expressing grave concern on systematic racial discrimination.
Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), made the statement on behalf of countries including Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, Laos, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely affect all nations, in particular developing countries. The response to and recovery from COVID-19 requires global solidarity and international cooperation. "However, we continue to witness the application of unilateral coercive measures, which are contrary to the purpose and principles of the UN Charter and international law, multilateralism and the basic norms of international relations," said Zhang.
Unilateral coercive measures have an undeniable impact on human rights, as they impede the full realization of social and economic development and hinder the well-being of the population in the affected countries, in particular women, children, including adolescents, the elderly and persons with disabilities, he said.
Unilateral coercive measures undermine the right to health, as they encumber access to medicines and medical technologies, equipment, and supplies. "This is particularly relevant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. UN senior officials and the international community have recognized the heavy, negative impact of these measures," he said.