UN Chief Calls on All G20 Nations to Lift Sanctions During the 2019 Pandemic

Published: March 24, 2020  Updated: March 24, 2020 at 6:28 pm EST

UNITED NATIONS, March 24. /TASS/. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the Group of Twenty nations to lift all sanctions against other countries in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“I am encouraging the waiving of sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support. This is the time for solidarity not exclusion,” he wrote in a letter to the G20 leaders circulated on Tuesday.

“I urge G-20 leaders to commit to ban tariffs, quotas or non-tariff measures, and remove restrictions on cross border trade that affect the deployment of medical equipment, medicines and other essential goods to fight the epidemic,” the message says.

Earlier in the day, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called for easing or lifting sanctions off a number of countries hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic, including Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea. “Humanitarian exemptions to sanctions measures should be given broad and practical effect, with prompt, flexible authorization for essential medical equipment and supplies,” she stressed.

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