HRC 45: Statement on unilateral coercive measures

Thank you Madam President, Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative.

We welcome the report of the Special Rapporteur, particularly its analysis on contemporary problems and developments in the use of unilateral sanctions as a first step to set a roadmap for her future work.

While the report rightly questions the ethic, legitimacy and effectiveness of coercive measures, and notes their unclear legal status, their new and different forms, their growing categories, targets, duration and other characteristics that produce a profound and often devastating impact on human rights with the addition of the lack of clarity in humanitarian exemptions; we also want to highlight the repressive nature of these measures, which are based on the economic, political and military hegemony of those states that impose them.

At the same time, any comprehensive analysis and effective approach in addressing these measures and their consequences must inevitably examine, among others, the concepts and dynamics of neo-liberal economic policies, domination, imperialism, colonialism and neocolonialism, transnational geopolitics and power dynamics between the states that apply these measures and those at the receiving end.

Finally, it should be highlighted that the most common consequence of these measures, is the lack of access to essential goods and services such as food, medicines and health services, which always impacts greatly on most marginalized populations such as women, LGBT people and other marginalized groups. It is critical that the Special Rapporteur in analyzing, reporting and making recommendations on this issue, integrate a gender, feminist and intersectional perspective.

We look forward to the work and future reports of the Special Rapporteur and to observing the co-operation of all states in this Council in addressing this issue.

Thank you.

UN Mechanism