Press Conference / ‘Sanctions Kill’ Coalition
ALERT: US Sanctions Escalate Global Coronavirus Crisis for 1/3 of World’s People. Human Rights Groups Charge Trump and Big Pharma with Criminal Policy that Threatens World
TRUMP BUILDING, WALL STREET, NEW YORK CITY (March 11, 2020) — A coalition of over 1000 organizations and activists will hold International Days of Action against Sanctions and Economic War March 13-15 to raise awareness of the enormous impact of sanctions imposed by the US and its junior partners have on more than 39 countries — 1/3 of the world population.
Representatives of the International Action Center, December 12th Movement, Veterans for Peace, Nodutdol, Casa de las Americas, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, and additional organizations will hold a press conference Wednesday, March 11 to discuss the impact of US sanctions on global health care and the battle against the Coronavirus, and the March 13-15 Days of Action.
US sanctions particularly target health care, depriving millions of people of access to medicine and medical supplies. According to reports by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Korea Peace Now, sanctions are responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people in Venezuela over two years, and 4,000 people in North Korea in 2018, primarily due to lack of access to medicine. In Zimbabwe, Western sanctions handicapped the countries response to Cholera outbreaks and last year’s devastation from Cyclone Idai.
As the Coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, the impact of US sanctions on access to healthcare threatens to thwart attempts to contain the disease. US sanctions have severely hampered Iran’s efforts to respond to the Coronavirus and accelerated it’s spread by limiting access to medical supplies, test kits and information about the virus.
The NYC Rally for the International Days of Action against Sanctions and Economic War March will take place Saturday, March 14 at 1pm in front of 40 Wall St (Trump building).
More information about US imposed sanctions and a list of March 13-15 actions can be found at sanctionskill.org
Sanctions Kill Forum and Webinar
with the Alliance For Global Justice
Saturday, March 14 (2:30PM PDT/5:30pm EDT)
POSTPONED: Due to COVID-19 crisis many SanctionsKill events this weekend are postponed. Several others have moved online. NYC Rally to End U.S. Sanctions and Economic War. New Date To Be Announced. Expanded speakers list will include:
Elane Spivak Rodriguez, Alliance For Global Justice,
Rhonda Ramiro, BAYAN USA
Omowale Clay, December 12 Movement,
Sara Flounders, SanctionsKill Campaign,
Pierre Labossiere, Haiti Action Committee
Bilal Mafundi Ali, Black Alliance for Peace
Teresa Walsh and Nesbit Crutchfield, Venceremos Brigade
K.J. Noh, Scholar, Writer and Peace Activist
Jeff Mackler, United National Anti-War Coalition
David Paul, Embassy Protection Collective
David Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council
Judy Greenspan, International Action Center
International Days of Action Against Sanctions and Economic War
March 13 – 15.
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, it is crucial to raise the role of U.S. sanctions in depriving millions of people around the world of access to medicine and medical supplies. According to reports by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Korea Peace Now, sanctions are responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people in Venezuela over two years, and 4,000 people in North Korea in 2018, primarily due to lack of access to medicine.
In Zimbabwe, Western sanctions handicapped the countries response to Cholera outbreaks and last year’s devastation from Cyclone Idai. The impact of U.S. sanctions on access to healthcare threatens to thwart attempts to contain COVID-19. U.S. sanctions have severely hampered Iran’s efforts to respond to the Coronavirus and accelerated it’s spread by limiting access to medical supplies, test kits and information about the virus.
Now more than ever we must organize and educate to raise consciousness of the criminal sanctions imposed by the U.S. and it’s junior partners, responsible for innumberable deaths and suffering every year in 39 countries-1/3 or the world vpopulation. Join us March 13-15 to denounce U.S. imposed sanctions and to continue building a movement to defeat them.
Video from emergency press conference Wednesday, connecting the Coronavirus pandemic to U.S. imposed sanctions.
Want to participate in the Days of Action through social media? Take a selfie with one of pictures above from CODEPINK, and post to your social media accounts with a brief message and the hashtag #SanctionsKill. Or use one of the pictures as your profile image.
Write your own message, or use one of the samples below as a template:
• End U.S. Sanctions on 39 Countries – 1/3 of the world!
• Sanctions withhold medicine, spread Coronavirus
• U.S. Sanctions Killed 40,000 Venezuelans in 2 years
• U.S. Sanctions Killed 4,000 Koreans in 2018
• End U.S. & Zionist Sanctions on Gaza! Free Palestine!
• End Western Sanctions on Zimbabwe
• ¡Cuba sí, bloqueo no!
Iran Official: US Sanctions to Blame for Outbreak, Rapid Spread of Coronavirus
TEHRAN (March 2, 2020) — US sanctions on Iran have led to the outbreak and rapid spread of the coronavirus in the Islamic Republic, President Hassan Rouhani’s adviser has said. Hesamodin Ashena wrote on Twitter: “The economic sanctions, and Europe’s complicity, left Iran’s public health infrastructure underprepared to deal with coronavirus in a timely way.”
“Trump’s policies are partly responsible for shaping the spread of this virus, and the lives lost in the process,” he added.
On Saturday, the Iranian health ministry announced 205 new coronavirus infections bringing the total number of cases virus to 593 cases with the death toll reaching 54 people. This does not include 50 deaths in Qom, which the government has refuted.
Iran has the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths outside China; the epicenter of the coronavirus. Now is the time for unity in the Middle East as coronavirus fears grip the region.
Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea
(October 2019) — Executive Summary
North Korea is one of the most sanctioned countries in the world. While sanctions used to target mostly the country’s military and elite, they have evolved in recent years into an almost total ban on North Korea-related trade, investments, and financial transactions. Several UN agencies have raised alarm at the impact on the population, with growing calls for humanitarian and human rights impact assessments.
To better assess this issue, the Korea Peace Now! campaign commissioned the present report from an international and multidisciplinary panel of independent experts, including some with extensive humanitarian field experience in North Korea.
The Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea represents the first comprehensive assessment of the adverse consequences of these sanctions, drawing on often neglected information from UN agencies on the ground as well as the authors’ combined expertise in public health, law, economics, history, and gender studies. In particular, the report highlights the case of women as one of the vulnerable groups differentially affected by the sanctions.
The authors examined the humanitarian, developmental, and gendered impact of sanctions.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) is one of the most sanctioned countries in the world. It is subject to a combination of unilateral and United Nations (UN) sanctions that amount to an almost total ban on DPRK-related trade, investment, and financial transactions.
Humanitarian groups working in the country have repeatedly warned of the negative consequences of sanctions on the population, and the UN Panel of Experts tasked with monitoring the implementation of the UN’s DPRK sanctions has recommended that the UN Secretariat conduct an assessment of their humanitarian impact.
Likewise, the UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights has proposed human rights impact assessments for unilateral sanctions in general. However, neither of these recommendations has been implemented and no comprehensive analysis of the problem has been done to date.
There is increasing evidence that the sanctions regime on the DPRK is having adverse humanitarian consequences, even as the relevant UN resolutions explicitly state this is not the intention. The UN Panel of Experts has determined that the “[UN] sectoral sanctions are affecting the delivery of humanitarian-sensitive items” and that their implementation “has had an impact on the activities of international humanitarian agencies working to address chronic humanitarian needs in the country.”
The UN Panel detailed a non-comprehensive list of items prohibited under Resolution 2397 of the UN Security Council (UNSC), including agricultural material, such as irrigation equipment and prefabricated greenhouses; medical appliances, such as ultrasound machines and orthopaedic appliances for persons with disabilities; and any item with a metallic component, including “screws, bolts, nails, staples” that “are often components of humanitarian-sensitive goods.”
While the relevant UN resolutions have enabled the 1718 Sanctions Committee to grant case-by-case humanitarian exemptions, the UN Panel has noted that there have been significant delays. One such delay involved exempting medical equipment for maternal and neonatal emergencies, and was predicted to “result in increased mortality.”
Sanctions also negatively impact human rights, including the rights to life, food, health, and development. The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the DPRK, Tomás Ojea Quintana, has called for a “comprehensive assessment of the [Security Council sanctions’] unintended negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights, in particular economic, social and cultural rights.”
The Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the DPRK only addressed sanctions peripherally, but nevertheless stated in 2014: “In light of the dire social and economic situation of the general population, the commission does not support sanctions imposed by the Security Council or introduced bilaterally that are targeted against the population or the economy as a whole.”
The UN Human Rights Council has also stated that the use of such measures “necessarily runs counter to some provisions of the International Bill of Human Rights or peremptory norms and other provisions of customary law, and entails adverse consequences for the enjoyment of human rights by innocent people.”
As repeatedly reported by in-country humanitarian organizations and UN agencies in the DPRK, sanctions disproportionately impact the most vulnerable populations, who do not have alternative sources of fuel and goods, or means to deal with rising prices.
In the most recent 2017 periodic review of the DPRK as signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women concluded that “the economic sanctions imposed by the international community as a consequence of the State party’s policies have a disproportionate impact on women.”
The UN General Assembly has in dozens of resolutions rejected or condemned the use of unilateral sanctions because of their negative effect on the realization of all the human rights of vast sectors of the population, in particular children, women, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. The UN Human Rights Council has also repeatedly condemned their continued use and application as tools of political or economic pressure.
• Sanctions are impeding the
ability of the country and of international aid organizations to meet the
urgent and long-standing humanitarian needs
of the most vulnerable parts of the population. Although the UN Security Council has repeatedly stated that the sanctions are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences, its case-by- case exemptions mechanism is insufficient to prevent this outcome in practice. Life-saving aid is being fatally obstructed by delays, red tape, and over-compliance with financial sanctions.
• Sanctions are also impeding the economic development of the country. UN and unilateral sanctions have resulted in the collapse of the country’s trade and engagement with the rest of the world, thereby undermining and reversing the progress that North Korea had made in overcoming the economic crisis and famine of the 1990s.
• Sanctions destabilize North Korean society in ways that have a disproportionate impact on women, resonating with patterns observed in other sanctioned countries. The resulting economic pressure tends to exacerbate rates of domestic violence, sexual violence, and the trafficking and prostitution of women. Sanctions also affect North Korean women differentially due to the dual social expectation that they be the primary caretakers of their families and communities, and workers fully integrated into the economy. us, sanctions doubly burden women through their adverse humanitarian and developmental consequences, especially when they impact their livelihood by targeting industries that have high ratios of female workers.
• The report concludes by raising concerns that the sanctions in their current form may not be reconcilable with international law, especially humanitarian and human rights norms.
• Resolve the security crisis that led to the current situation in accordance with international law.
• Lift all sanctions that are in violation of international law, in particular of the UN Charter and of applicable human rights and humanitarian norms.
• Adopt urgently, in interim, all measures available to mitigate and eliminate the adverse consequences of sanctions on the humanitarian and human rights situation in North Korea.
• Conduct gender-sensitive humanitarian and human rights impact assessments of sanctions currently in place.
• Ensure women’s equal and meaningful participation in peace and security negotiations and processes, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. Take into account gender considerations and the rights of women in all deliberations concerning sanctions on the DPRK.
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