Zimbabwe, 10 other ‘dictatorships’ complain to UN over sanctions: report

Senior Political Writer

A United States publication has revealed that officials from Zimbabwe and 10 other countries under Western sanctions have written to the United Nations complaining that the world body has not condemned the measures.

The United Nations General Assembly, the annual global shindig ongoing in New York, is a platform where countries voice a number of global and national issues, including castigating the host, America, at times, over its global hegemogy.

This year, countries under US and Western sanctions would have wanted the UN – at least symbolically – to acknowledge and condemn the measures in its official documents and proceedings.

The National Review reports that a group of “eleven of the world’s most notoriously oppressive regimes”, including Venezuela, Russia, North Korea, and Belarus, wrote a letter on Sunday in which they decried those measures as an “existential” threat to their survival.

The National Review said in the report: “Dictatorships targeted by sanctions imposed for human-rights abuses and other misbehavior have long attempted to redefine these policies as ‘unilateral-coercive measures’ in UN and international legal documents, and they’ve spent years trying to use international bodies to cast doubt on their legality.

“With these complaints, they’re hoping to set the agenda at big meetings at the UN this week for a major international-development conference and the annual UN General Assembly open debate, where heads of state will take the stage.

“Ambassadors for dictatorships wrote to Dennis Francis, the president of the U.N. General Assembly, with their complaints.”

The purported letter said: “As you are aware, the issue of the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures (UCMs) is an existential one for our peoples. A third of the world’s population is affected by these illegal measures.”

Venezuela, Belarus, Iran, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Russia, North Korea, Syria, Eritrea, and Zimbabwe were among signatories.

Jimmy Quinn, the National Review corespondent, said: ‘The inclusion of their preferred language, even in a symbolic political document, would have made for a substantial propaganda victory and a blow against policies that punish authoritarian governments and promote human rights.”

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