Continued imposition of illegal coercive measures on Syria undermines UN call for collective cooperation to face coronavirus: Al-Jaafari

NEW YORK, (ST)- The UN General Assembly on Friday held a meeting via video conference on the best ways to reduce the economic and social impacts of coronavirus.

During the session, Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar Al-Jaafari stressed the need to lift the unilateral coercive economic measures imposed by the West on Syria, particularly after the spread of coronavirus in the world.

He said that the continued imposition of these illegal measures undermines the UN principle that calls for responsibility and collective solidarity and cooperation to confront the threat of coronavirus.

 Syria has been suffering from strenuous and extraordinary circumstances because of the social and economic impacts of a foreign-backed terrorist war that has been accompanied by an unjust economic siege and unilateral coercive measures imposed by some western countries on the Syrians, said al-Jaafari. He pointed out that these measures have directly affected the country's basic economic and service sectors, including health, energy, industry, transport, trade, banking and communications as well as the exchange rate.

Al-Jaafari reiterated that these measures impede the country's ability to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic and undermine the UN's main principle that calls for collective solidarity and cooperation to act against this deadly disease.

He made it clear that the countries which have been affected by coercive economic measures have sent letters to the UN Chief, explaining the impacts of these measures on their ability to combat Coronavirus and calling for the termination of this economic siege, but there has been no response by the western governments that insist on imposing these punitive measures despite UN calls for lifting them.

Al-Jaafari reaffirmed that all countries of the world must recognize their need to provide the basic infrastructure and equipment for the health sectors in order to provide prevention, health tests, treatment, food and basic services to all citizens without exception and to empower economies of countries to support and fund the national strategies and measures necessary to control the outbreak of the virus.

He called on international monetary institutions to provide necessary support for weak economies of developing countries, particularly those facing extraordinary circumstances because of conflicts and post conflict situation and those suffering from coercive economic measures.

Hamda Mustafa