Ambassador Ala: Coercive measures targeting Syria are immoral and harm its efforts for development and reconstruction

Geneva (ST): Syria's permanent representative to the UN Office and International Organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Husam El-Din Ala, reiterated the Syrian Arab Republic's condemnation of the unilateral coercive measures imposed on it, indicating that these immoral measures harm its efforts to transition to recovery, development and reconstruction. 

In an interview with the Special Rapporteur on the negative effects of unilateral coercive measures at the forty-eighth session of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Ala said, “The imposition of unilateral coercive measures in its various forms is inconsistent with the rules of international law and with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, foremost among which are the principles of respect for the sovereignty of states and their right to self-determination and non-interference in their internal affairs.

Ambassador Ala stressed that the so-called “Caesar Act”, whose effects go beyond the borders of the United States constitutes a model of abuse in the use of economic and financial force and means of economic coercion unilaterally and lacks any legal or moral basis. It is also economic terrorism that requires accountability for the massive human suffering that affects citizens in targeted countries without discrimination.

Ambassador Ala added that since the visit of the former Special Rapporteur to the Syrian Arab Republic in 2018, and his presentation of a report that included a balanced professional assessment of the suffering of Syrian citizens as a result of the coercive measures imposed on them, the size and impact of these measures expanded with the European Union and the United States resorting to tightening the economic siege on the Syrian people through measures that target vital sectors such as banking, energy, communications, and transportation, measures that deprived Syrians of their basic needs, including medicine, health care and food, and violated human rights, exposing Syria to additional pressures and challenges as the United States and the European Union expanded or renewed their measures during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ambassador denied US and European allegations about the existence of so-called “exceptions and exemptions” that facilitate the import of goods and materials intended for medical, health and humanitarian purposes, stressing that they are an attempt to justify the imposition of these coercive measures and giving them a false humanitarian touch.

The Ambassador demanded that the coercive measures imposed on the Syrian people be lifted immediately, as they impede the work of humanitarian agencies to provide relief aid and harm Syria's efforts to transition to recovery, development, reconstruction and the return of refugees and forcibly displaced people as a result of terrorism.