UNITED NATIONS -- China's United Nations Ambassador Zhang Jun said Thursday that unilateral coercive measures (UCMs) are turning a health crisis into a moral one, and called for international solidarity and cooperation.
"UCMs are illegal, unjustified and unreasonable," Zhang said at the virtual webinar on "the impact of unilateral coercive measures on national health systems of targeted developing countries" sponsored by the permanent UN missions of China, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Undermining the global response and threatening the health of people of targeted countries, UCMs are still in place at a "critical juncture" when the pandemic is "far from over" amid surging new cases, new variants and a widening vaccine divide, according to Zhang.
UCMs violate international law, said Zhang, noting that the UN Charter stipulates that states have the duty "to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors."
"No state shall apply domestic law to exercise long-arm jurisdiction over other countries. Such practices seriously violate the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the fundamental principle of sovereign equality in international law and the basic principle of non-interference in international relations," said Zhang.
Some countries even use unilateral sanctions to suppress legitimate governments of other states to incite a "color revolution" and regime change, or as a tool for "unfair economic and scientific competitions," he added.
Zhang said that UCMs also result in human rights crises, worsen humanitarian crises.
"We call on the General Assembly, the Security Council, the UN Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council to step up assessment on the negative impacts of UCMs and put forth targeted solutions," said the envoy.
"We call on the member states, the UN system and other international organizations to fully support the countries under UCMs, especially in their response to the pandemic," he said.
China will continue to stand on the side of true multilateralism, the majority of member states, and fairness and justice, he added.