Explanation of Vote on a Second Committee Resolution on Unilateral Economic Measures as a Means of Political and Economic Coercion

Jason Lawrence
U.S. Adviser for the Second Committee
New York, New York
November 21, 2023


Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States has consistently opposed this resolution in prior years, and we do so again today. Economic pressure measures, including 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 consistent with international law and with specific objectives in mind including as a means to promote a return to rule of law or democratic systems respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms or to respond to threats to international security.

The United States has taken concrete actions to minimize unintended negative consequences of sanctions including advancing, along with Ireland, the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 2664 adopted in December 2022, which created a carveout to the assets freeze across UN sanctions regimes to enable humanitarian efforts. This historic initiative eased the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need while helping ensure the aid is not diverted or abused by malicious actors. Most importantly, this effort makes it easier for humanitarian actors to provide urgently needed 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. Those who suggest sanctions are inherently unjustified or problematic advance a false narrative and we cannot support this language.

For these reasons, we must vote against this resolution.

Thank you.