Adviser for ECOSOC
New York, New York
November 23, 2021
Explanation of Vote for the Adoption of the Unilateral Economic Measures as a Means of Political and Economic Coercion against Developing Countries Resolution
Thank you, Chairperson.
The United States has consistently opposed this resolution in prior years, and we do so again today. Sanctions are an appropriate, effective, peaceful, and legitimate tool for addressing threats to peace and security. They can be used to promote accountability for those who abuse human rights, undermine democracy, or engage in corrupt activities. In cases where the United States has applied sanctions, we have done so with specific objectives in mind, including the promotion of democratic systems, rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, or to respond to security threats.
As we implement these restrictions, we also regularly take measures to minimize unintended negative consequences. For example, earlier this year, the United States took concrete action to minimize the impacts of sanctions on aid to stem the COVID-19 pandemic globally, including in Syria and Venezuela. We actively facilitate the provision of legitimate aid to the Syrian and Venezuelan people, even while Assad and Maduro actively work to restrict it. Indeed, we are the leading donor of humanitarian assistance to both countries, providing billions of dollars in aid on the basis of need.
Just last month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a statement affirming the United States will continue to seek ways to tailor sanctions to mitigate unintended economic, humanitarian, and political impacts on non-targeted individuals abroad and support the flow of legitimate humanitarian goods and assistance.
Sanctions are a legitimate way to achieve foreign policy, national security, and other national and international objectives, and the United States is not alone in that view or in that practice.
For these reasons, we must vote against this resolution and urge others to also do so. Thank you.