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SC: Unilateral Coercive Measures

Statement by Sanctions Coordinator Martin Richardsen at the ‘Arria-formula’ meeting on Unilateral Coercive Measures, 25 November 2020.

Norway is a staunch supporter of the UN and implements all sanctions adopted by the Security Council. At the same time, Norway also implements certain restrictive measures that go beyond those adopted by the Security Council or where the Security Council has not been able to act, provided that they enjoy broad international support.

Sanctions that enjoy broad international support can be an effective tool to address threats to peace and security and violations of international law including humanitarian law and human rights.

For example, by applying targeted sanctions directed at actors that carry out violations of international humanitarian law, of human rights and crimes against humanity, we can help shield civilians from harm.

At the same time, Norway recognizes the importance of certain exemptions, including to allow for political dialogue initiatives and peace processes.

Norway urges all actors involved in armed conflicts and political crises to work across divides, and put the needs of people before politics. We should not forget that the primary responsibility for alleviating the impact of sanctions lies with these groups, whose behavior makes these sanctions necessary and legitimate.

We should also avoid portraying sanctions as an alternative explanation of serious problems that are caused by other means, typically by conflicts and those fueling them.

We must ensure humanitarian access at all times. Humanitarian exemptions to sanctions are crucial to avoid adverse impacts and unnecessary constraints.

We further stress that economic sanctions should not impede humanitarian access or the provision of food, essential health supplies and medical support.

Let me use this occasion to commend the lifesaving humanitarian work being carried out across the world. We praise these front line workers.