The unilateral coercive measures, in addition to constituting a flagrant violation of the fundamental principles of international law, make it impossible to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, Alfred de Zayas, a former independent expert for advocacy of a democratic and equitable international order, warned this Wednesday.
In a masterful lecture during the international conference Unilateral coercive measures: disrespect for international law and serious human consequences, organized by the Venezuelan Government and the School of Diplomacy and International Relations in Geneva, the academic denounced that these measures constitute a powerful political weapon that hegemonic states impose on less strong states, even if they lack a legal basis.
“It is evident that there is no justification for the imposition of unilateral coercive measures; the official propaganda of the United States” and the media narrative “they constitute an insult to our intelligence, a mockery to our quality as citizens when the State Department lawyers try to sell the sanctions as ‘legal measures”, he said.
The international law expert stressed that the purpose of the so-called “sanctions” is to generate extraterritorial effects, attacking not only the right to life, but also the sovereign right of States to determine their systems of government and economy.
“The sanctions are not innocent, and they are not adopted for internal purposes in the United States, the purpose of the sanctions is precisely to generate extraterritorial effects, attacking the right to life of Cubans, Venezuelans, Syrians, etc; [attacking] the sovereign right to determine their systems of government and to have economic and financial relations with other sovereign States”, he added.
The academic also stressed that “the fact that the United States and other States practice such measures with impunity does not create any new right that legitimizes them”.
The veto in the Security Council
In his lecture, the specialist explained that currently there is no effective mechanism to suppress this illegal practice, since the United Nations Security Council is unable to adopt resolutions in this regard, due to the veto of those States that impose the sanctions.
Therefore, he urged the establishment of a competent judicial body that does not depend on the main body of the United Nations.
“Sanctions are imposed by a small number of powerful states that have impunity; It is easy to see that the vast majority of the UN member states reject unilateral sanctions, as evidenced by numerous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council”, he added.
The expert raised, in light of the concept of an internationally wrongful act, the obligation of the United States and other States to repair the damage caused by imposing their illegal measures in countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Syria.