Permanent Mission of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations


Rafael Ramirez classified the unilateral sanctions as illegal


Rafael Ramirez, Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations, classified the sanctions unilaterally imposed by some countries for political purposes as illegitimate, considering them outside the international law and the UN Charter.
Within the framework of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s presidency in the United Nations Security Council, they had an open debate at the ambassadorial level, where the functioning of the Sanctions Committees were analyzed as well as the problems of political and economic destabilization that are generated in countries with the imposition of these measures.
The Venezuelan diplomat mentioned the importance of maintaining the sanctions as a last resort to dealing with cases that threaten international peace and security and avoid deviation from the central objective of these documents, as stated in article 41 of the United Nations Charter, a fundamental document of the organization.
Concerning this issue, Ramirez said that despite the changes that have been made to these subsidiary bodies in recent years, they continue to have a negative impact on the humanitarian situation of the civilian population, high economic costs to neighboring countries and the criminalization of economic activities.
For the first time the Security Council was opened to the nations that are currently subject under the sanctions regime, including: Ivory Coast, Sudan, Libya, Central African Republic and Eritrea, as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran, a nation whose sanctions have recently been lifted with regard to the development of its nuclear program.
These nations had the opportunity to express its national position and the reality that their economies have to face due to these measures imposed by the Security Council, which sometimes tend to aggravate the internal situations in their countries.
Currently, of the 16 existing sanctions committees, 62.5% of these are applied against African countries and 9 of them have been longer than 10 years, which is why Ramirez stated that it is difficult to end a sanctions regime once it has been created, becoming an injustice with these particular nations.
The Venezuelan ambassador urged increasing the participation of these countries, and that their views and opinions should be included in the report that is periodically provided by each of the committees.
He said, "The chairmen of the sanctions committees should stop being mere mouthpieces of the opinion of the committee members and the information provided by the expert panels; they should have the right and the room to offer their ideas and recommendations on how to deal constructively with the causes that led to the imposition of sanctions, and to work hand in hand with the affected States to establish clear criteria and steps to facilitate the lifting of these sanctions.”
Moreover, Ramirez reiterated that Venezuela defends the sovereignty of nations in the management of natural resources, according to what was stated in the resolution 1803 of the UN General Assembly, which reflects the importance of using the wealth for national development and welfare of the people, so he said that the Security Council must not impair the sovereignty of nations.
Additionally, he said that sanctions often become punitive measures against countries and peoples, which in many cases are political interests of third party countries, which impose their selection criteria in the Security Council.