Statement on ‘Unilateral economic measures as a means of political & economic coercion against developing countries’

Courtney R. Nemroff
Acting U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 21, 2019


Mr. Chairperson, as we’ve noted in prior years where this resolution was considered, the United States believes that each member state has the sovereign right to determine how it conducts trade with other countries and that this includes restricting trade in certain circumstances. Economic sanctions, whether domestic or multilateral, can be a successful means of achieving foreign policy objectives. In cases where the United States has applied sanctions, they have been used with specific objectives in mind, including as a means to promote a return to rule of law or democratic systems, to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, or to prevent threats to international security. We are within our rights to utilize our trade and commercial policy as tools to achieve our objectives. By passing this resolution, the General Assembly in effect purports to limit the international community’s ability to respond effectively and by non-violent means against threats to democracy, human rights, or world security.

In sum, we believe that targeted economic sanctions can be an appropriate, effective, and legitimate alternative to the use of force. We have therefore requested a recorded vote on this resolution and will vote no.