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Activities

Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures

Mandate-Led Events

Interviews

Conferences and webinars

High-Level Meetings


Mandate-Led Events

On 11 and 12 March 2024, the Special Rapporteur organised two expert consultations with practitioners and academia, on the impact of unilateral coercive measures on the access to justice. The purpose of these consultations was to support the work of the Special Rapporteur on this particular area, providing discussions which will ultimately feed in the preparation of the Special Rapporteur’s thematic report on this particular issue to be presented at the 79th session of the UN General Assembly in October 2024.

On 13 March 2024, on the margins of the 55th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur organised a side-event on the impact of UCMs on the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the work of humanitarian actors. (Link with Information)

On 19 October 2023, the Special Rapporteur had her interactive dialogue during the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, and presented her thematic report on “Secondary sanctions, civil and criminal penalties for circumvention of sanctions regimes and over-compliance” (A/78/196) (video starting at 40:00)

On 15 September 2023, the Special Rapporteur had her interactive dialogue during the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council, and presented her thematic report on the “Impact of unilateral sanctions on the right to health” (video).

On 7 and 8 November 2023, the Special Rapporteur organised two expert consultations with CSOs and academia, on unilateral sanctions, over-compliance and human rights. The purpose of these consultations was to inform the Special Rapporteur’s work towards the elaboration of a guidance document on unilateral sanctions and over-compliance to be formally presented during one of the upcoming sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.

On 20 September 2023, on the margins of the 54th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur organised a side-event on the impact of unilateral sanctions on health-related SDGs (Link with Information)

On 1 August 2023, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur officially launched the Sanctions Research Platform, an online library compiling research work on sanctions and sanctions-related issues, including their humanitarian and human rights impact. The platform is available in all 6 UN languages and open to submissions of accessible work on relevant to sanctions issues, either directly through the platform or via the platform’s email: [email protected]

On 28 March 2023, on the margins of the 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur organised a side-event on the Impact of UCMs on the Right to Development and the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (Link with Information)

On 21 and 23 March 2023, the Special Rapporteur organised two expert consultations with academia and CSOs, on the human rights impact assessment methodology of unilateral sanctions

During the month of July, the Special Rapporteur began a round of thematic visits to several Europe-based UN Specialized Agencies. This work is ongoing.

From 14-15th March, 2022, the Special Rapporteur held a round of consultation with Academic and NGO participants, regarding the “Criteria to assess the humanitarian impact of unilateral sanctions”

On 26 November 2021, the Special Rapporteur hosted a stakeholder consultation on the subject of “Unilateral Coercive Measures and their Impacts on People living in Vulnerable Situations,” held in Geneva, Switzerland.

On 10 November 2021, the Special Rapporteur held an interview with the Justice of Belarus, Official publication of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus

From 16-28 October 2021, The Special Rapporteur held on an official country visit to Zimbabwe, more information can be found on:

Zimbabwe Country Visit Preliminary Observation Conclusions

United Nations in Zimbabwe - Press Conference - 28 October 2021 | Facebook

On 16 September 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated in the Biennial panel discussion on the issue of “Unilateral coercive measures: the issue of jurisdiction and extraterritoriality challenges and its inadmissibility under international law,” as part of the 48th session of the Human Rights Council. United Nations Media Recording

From 26-27 April 2021, The Special Rapporteur hosted a series of Expert Consultations with academics and concerned NGOs regarding the effects of unilateral coercive measures on delivery and accessibility of humanitarian aid, held in Geneva, Switzerland.

From 1-12 February 2021, the Special Rapporteur conducted an official visit to Venezuela, in order to assess the negative impacts of sanctions on the enjoyment of human rights. The Rapporteur will present the conclusions of the visit to the 48th session of the Human Rights Council.

On 21 - 22 October 2020, the Special Rapporteur organized an expert consultation on unilateral sanctions as the serious obstacle to delivery of humanitarian aid. The event took place in Palais des Nations, Geneva. The event brought together 24 world leading humanitarian organizations, including faith-based NGOs. They discussed humanitarian exemptions, which apparently continued to remain ineffective, inefficient and inadequate. Moreover, experts examined the multiple forms of humanitarian exemptions and practical impediments they create for delivery of aid to the most vulnerable people, including in the context of COVID-19.

On 16 October 2020, the Special Rapporteur had her first interactive dialogue (1:23:34) with the General Assembly's 3rd Committee, during which she presented to her first thematic report (A/75/209) to General Assembly that offers an overview and assessment of the impact of unilateral sanctions on the enjoyment of human rights in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 22 September 2020, the Special Rapporteur had her first interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council, during which she presented to her first thematic report (A/HRC/45/7). She discussed current developments and challenges in the nature and application of unilateral sanctions, as well as spelled out the priorities and a road map for her approach to the mandate.

Interviews

On 9 and 16 February 2024, the Special Rapporteur gave a two-part interview to Venezuelanalysis on unilateral coercive measures and their humanitarian impact (PART 1 and PART 2)

On 20 October 2023, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by UN News, following her presentation of her thematic report on “Secondary Sanctions, Over-Compliance and Human Rights” to the General Assembly’s 3rd Committee (Interview in Russian)

On 15 September 2023, the Special Rapporteur held a press conference following the presentation of her reports to the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council (Webcast archive)

On 15 September 2023, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Russia Today and Ria Novosti following the presentation of her reports to the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council

On 6 September 2023, the Special Rapporteur provided written responses to Voice of America regarding the mandate and its work on Afghanistan

On 22 March 2023, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Christianity Today on the impact of unilateral sanctions on post-earthquake relief efforts in Syria (Article)

On 22 March 2023, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on the impact of UCMs on environment in Iran

On 16 March 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated in firechat event organized by Relieve Syria (Youtube video)

On 2 March 2023, the Special Rapporteur provided written input to the Mizan News Agency

On 18 February 2023, the Special Rapporteur provided written input to the Kayhan Newspaper (Article)

On 16 February 2023, the Special Rapporteur was interview by RTV Slovenjia on unilateral sanctions and post-earthquake situation in Syria (Article)

On 16 February 2023, the Special Rapporteur was featured by BreakThrough News regarding the impact of unilateral sanctions on post-earthquake relief efforts in Syria (Video Link)

On 14 February 2023, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by ABC Spain on the impact of unilateral sanction on post-earthquake relief efforts in Syria (Article)

On 13 February 2023, the Special Rapporteur was featured by CBC News “Nothing is Foreign” Podcast (Podcast Link)

On 13 February 2023, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Democracy Now on the impact of unilateral sanctions on post-earthquake relief efforts in Syria (Link & Video / Twitter)

On 13 February 2023, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by CGTN on the impact of unilateral sanctions on post-earthquake relief efforts in Syria (Link & Video)

On 13 February 2023, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Al Mayadeen News Network on the impact of unilateral sanction on post-earthquake relief efforts in Syria

On 13 February 2023, the Special Rapporteur provided written input to The New Humanitarian

On 10 February 2023, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Sky News on the impact of unilateral sanctions on post-earthquake relief efforts in Syria

On 7 February 2023, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Al Mayadeen News Network on the issue of unilateral sanctions and emergency response

On 5 December 2022, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by CCTV regarding her mission to Syria.

On 16 November 2022, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Breakthrough News and featured on the blog Dispatches from the Underclass, in an article titled “UN Official Calls for Lifting ‘Illegal’ Syria Sanctions After Seeing Devastation” First-Hand

On 16 November 2022, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Russian Today on the situation in Syria, following the SR’s official country visit

On 15 November 2022, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Deutsche Welle on the situation in Syria, following the SR’s official country visit

On 10 November the Special Rapporteur was featured on the BBC on the situation in Syria, following the her official country visit

On 6 November, the Special Rapporteur was featured in an article by Iran's Judiciary News Agency دوهان : مردم ایران تحت تاثیر تحریم‌های یکجانبه قرار گرفته‌اند /آمریکا پاسخی به درخواست برای گفت‌وگو درباره سیاست تحریمی نداد - قوه قضائیه | خبرگزاری میزان | Mizan Online News Agencyتحریم 2022

On 20 October The Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Chatham House on Magnitsky-type sanctions and the use of economic sanctions as leverage to incentivise human rights progress or punish human rights violations

On 22 September, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by the International Bar Association for a podcast on sanctions.

On 20 September, The Special Rapporteur was featured in an article by the Zeit-Fragen newspaper where she presented the issue of Unilateral Sanctions in Iran the incompatibility of these with international law (page 6)

On 30th August, the Special Rapporteur held an interview with Newsdesk regarding the findings of her visit to Iran. The interview was featured on Iran International on 11 September, https://youtu.be/TfWFGpqFJD4?t=1109

On 25 July, 2022, the Special Rapporteur was featured by PressTV regarding the impact of sanctions on Iran on patients with EB disease, also known as butterfly skin patients https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/07/25/686203/U-S-Sanctions-on-Iran-s-Butterflies.

On Tuesday 12 July 2022, The Special Rapporteur, was interviewed by Chinese media (CCTV China Media Group and Xinhua New Agency), regarding the impact of UCMs on the right to health, humanitarian aid and right to development. Unilateral sanctions violate international law, impede advancing Sustainable Development Goals_英语频道_央视网(cctv.com)

On 17 June 2022, The Special Rapporteur, was interviewed by the agency Zeitgeschehen im Fokus, regarding her country visit to Iran. 

On 13 June the Special Rapporteur gave an interview on VOX Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis and the US decision to block the foreign assets of the Afghan Central Bank, titled “Afghanistan’s staggering set of crises, explained”.

On 17 June Special Rapporteur Zeitgeschehen im Fokus on the issue of Unilateral Coercive Measures.

On 2 June 2022, the Special Rapporteur gave an interview to the French news magazine “Le Point” as a follow-up to her country visit to Iran.

On 8 February 2022, the SR was interviewed for Voice of America, regarding how sanctions affect internally displaced people and refugees.

On 12 January 2022, the Special Rapporteur gave an interview for the German media channel, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Programmgruppe Inland, Redaktion MONITOR

On 22 December 2021, the Special Rapporteur gave an interview for ODVV Interview: The impact of unilateral sanctions on health sector is life-threatening

On 14 December 2021, The Special Rapporteur gave an interview for China Daily - Global Weekly, regarding Women's rights in the Middle East

On 13 October 2021, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by the International Review of the Red Cross, on the topic of Unilateral coercive measures, IHL and impartial humanitarian action. The document has been published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 October 2021 // International Review of the Red Cross , First View , pp. 1 – 26 DOI

On 09 September 2021, the Special Rapporteur was featured in a podcast by Venezuela Analysis, titled “Sanctions Kill.”

On 24 August 2021, The Special Rapporteur was interviewed by: In These Times journal outlet, for the article “Sanctions Didn't Help Cubans, Iranians or Venezuelans. They Won't Help Afghans.”

On 27 May 2021, the Special Rapporteur presented an interview for Valdai club on the notion of unilateral coercive measures and their impact on economic rights

On 12 April 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated in a Fault lines, Sputnik DC Washington, Interview on the humanitarian impact of sectoral and targeted sanctions in Syria.

On 12 March 2021, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by PressTV.

On 4 March 2021, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by the TV channel CGTN Beijing, as well as by Jackson Hinkle in the live broadcast “the Dive”.

On 3 March 2021, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Richard Medhurst, an independent Syrian-British journalist based in Vienna, in a live broadcast. She was also interviewed by News with Rick Sanchez on RT America TV channel.

On 2 March 2021, in an interview with the Zeit Fragen, the Special Rapporteur expressed her concern regarding the fact that the appalling majority of unilateral sanctions is violating international law.

On 25 February 2021, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed in a podcast of Slava Zilber.

On 23 February 2021, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by the Zeit Fragen, where she explained the scope of her mandate, the notions and specifics of unilateral sanctions, the challenges of secondary sanctions and over compliance, and the problem of delivery of humanitarian aid.

In that connection, the Special Rapporteur presented her preliminary findings regarding the official visit to Venezuela in an interview with CNN café and the Grayzone news website on 16 February 2021, as well as in an interview with W-Radio Columbia, on 17 February 2021.

On 14 January 2021, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by the Grayzone, independent news website, on the negative impact of the Caesar act, imposing sanctions on Syria, on the possibility of rebuilding the country and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

On 28 October 2020, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Afshin Rattansi for the Going Underground, Russia Today's TV show.

  • Ms. Douhan spoke about the impact of US sanctions on countries such as Venezuela, Iran and Syria, how sanctions are preventing the purchase of vital medical equipment during Coronavirus in Iran, how unilateral sanctions are attacking fundamental human rights such as the right to health and the right to education, why the fear of sanctions violates human rights as sanctions themselves and much more. The Going Underground published also the full text of the comments received from the Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy European Commission about the matters and issues discussed in this interview.

On 9 October 2020, the Special Rapporteur gave live interview to the TV Press on the humanitarian impact of US sanctions against Iran introduced one day before the interview.

On 22 September 2020, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by CCTV news channel

On 22 September 2020, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Al-Mayadeen Arabic news channel

On 20 August 2020, the Special Rapporteur responded to a request for comment made by National Review, America's magazine for conservative news, commentary, and opinion, to inform the readers of its article "Will a U.N. Human-Rights Expert Defend Belarus's Dictator?", about the UN Special Procedures mandate addressing sanctions.

  • In her comments, the Special Rapporteur explained that the application of unilateral sanctions should reflect the principles of legality, legitimacy, necessity, proportionality and protection of human rights, especially the rights of women, children, the elderly and other vulnerable categories of the population. Regardless of the grounds and purposes for introducing unilateral sanctions, humanitarian concerns should always be taken into account. Sanctions, even when implemented for legitimate purposes, must comply with human rights standards, including the rights to life, to due process and the presumption of innocence, and shall include relevant humanitarian exemptions and procedural safeguards. A common reason for unilateral sanctions is to promote more respect for human rights in other countries, but human rights cannot be protected by the violation of human rights. This is precisely the kind of problem that she focuses on through my mandate.

On 18 August 2020, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by the Truthside tv YouTube channel.

  • During the interview, the Special Rapporteur spoke about the impact of sanctions on human rights and her mandate, in particular she spoke about sanctions, which, under certain conditions and if they do not comply with international law, can bring suffering and death.

On 17 July 2020, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by the Russian International Affairs Council, a Moscow based non-profit academic and diplomatic think tank.

  • During the interview, the Special Rapporteur spoke about the impact of sanctions on human rights, in particular about the US sanctions against the judges and employees of the International Criminal Court.

On 12 July 2020, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by the @AlMayadeenNews, a twitter-based TV channel. During the interview, the Special Rapporteur spoke about the impact of sanctions on human rights and her mandate.

On 5 July 2020, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by ONT, the Second National TV channel in Belarus.

  • During the interview, the Special Rapporteur spoke about the impact of sanctions on human rights that became more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Such restrictions have a negative impact on the economic situation in different countries: unemployment occurs; there is not enough funds to ensure the functioning of medical infrastructure. "For example, according to Human Rights Watch, today when entering hospitals in Venezuela, you need to bring water, not only for drinking, but also for hygiene needs. In Syria, it is not possible to purchase medical equipment or tests, as sanctions are imposed. Under the terms of the sanctions imposed by the United States, today they do only 100 tests a day, which we understand is very small in the context of the pandemic," Ms. Douhan said. "Humanitarian organizations have faced the fact that it is difficult to obtain a license. But even if there is a license to deliver a particular type of product, it does not mean that by delivering the goods, for example, to Syria, they can refuel the car to get the aid to their destination. Sanctions still prohibit them from buying any petroleum products, including gasoline to refuel one tank of the car to deliver humanitarian aid," the Special Rapporteur explained. (at 48:42 min of the broadcast).

On 24 June 2020, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by the Eurasia Expert online news agency. The topic of the interview was about uncontrolled use of sanctions that threatens international relation

On 14 April 2020, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by the Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA), which underscored her role in the promotion and protection of human rights in general and, in particular, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conferences and webinars

On 15 March 2024, the Special Rapporteur participated as keynote speaker in a seminar on “Unilateral Coercive Measures and International Law”, organised by the Observatório do Mundo Islámico (poster)

On 6 and 7 February 2024, the Special Rapporteur participated in the International Conference on “Food Justice from a Human Rights Perspective, Realities and Future Challenges”, organised by the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar (NHRC), in partnership with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), the League of Arab States, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). She gave a presentation on the “Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on Food Security” (presentation PPT).

On 30 November, the Special Rapporteur participated in a Legal Forum on “Unilateral sanctions and their legal implications in the modern world”, held in Minsk, Belarus

On 23 November 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated in a conference on “Russian Federation and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – 75 years: Achievements and Challenges, organised by Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN)

On 6 November 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated as a speaker in a symposium on international sanctions, organised by the Federation for Diplomacy and the United Nations, in Paris

On 3 November 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated as a keynote speaker in a side-event organised by the Iranian Elite Research Center, on “Contribution of Science, Technology and Innovation in Promoting Human Rights

On 21 October 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated in the International Law Week (ILW), organised by the American Branch of International Law Association (ABILA) and held at Fordham University, New York. She intervened as a speaker at a panel on “Economic Sanctions and International Immunities: Current Tendencies”. The panel was organised by Georgetown University.

On 13 September 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated as a keynote speaker in a side-event on “Unilateral Coercive Measures and International Human Rights Law”, organised by ODVV during the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council

On 11 May 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated as a speaker in the 3rd Islamabad Security Dialogue, in a conference on “International Law Landscape in an Era of Great Power Competition” (ISD webpage)

On 4 May 2023, during her academic visit to Cuba, the Special Rapporteur gave an inaugural lecture on unilateral coercive measures and the work of the mandate at the University of Havana. On the same day, she participated in a Havana University conference on the qualification of UCMs in international law and their economic impact

On 9 March 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated as a speaker in the Seminar “Sanctions: ‘Using A Sledgehammer To Crack A Nut’” organised by 9BR Chambers in London, UK

On 30 and 31 August 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated as a speaker in an international expert workshop on “Unilateral Sanctions: Decentralised Reactions to Violations of Jus Cogens or a Tool for Projecting Power?”, organised by the Université d’Angers and the Centre Jean Bodin

On 5 April 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated as a keynote speaker in the Symposium organised by the Yale Journal of International Law on “Third-World Perspectives on Sanctions” (Link with Information)

On 10 March 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated as a keynote speaker in an event organized by humanitarian CSOs and the Graduate Institute – Geneva, on assessing the impact of sanctions on humanitarian work (Link of the Report)

On 7 February 2023, the Special Rappporteur met with students from Columbia University to brief them on the impact of unilateral sanctions in the delivery of humanitarian assistance

On 15 December 2022, the Special Rapporteur participated in an event organised by The South Centre on the Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures and Actions to Address It

On 29 September 2022, the Special Rapporteur was invited by a group of members of the European Parliament to provide a briefing regarding the work and possible cooperation with the mandate.

On 8 September 2022, The Special Rapporteur presented l’Académie de Géopolitique de Paris, on the Humanitarian Impact and social repercussions of sanctions on Iran // Impact humanitaire et répercussions sociales des sanctions contre l’Iran the full speech can be found on: https://youtu.be/qwmgFmKOvxo

On 1 September 2022, The Special Rapporteur participated as a panellist on The essential role of international cooperation for sustainable development in promoting and protecting human rights, including in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of the Seminar on the contribution of development to the enjoyment of Human Rights. The Seminars are based on Human Rights Council resolution 47/11 Europe and Central Asia Regional Seminar | OHCHR; 2nd Meeting, Europe And Central Asia Seminar: The Contribution of Development to the Enjoyment of all Human Rights | UN Web TV

On 26 July 2022, The Special Rapporteur, participated as a speaker in the 2022 Beijing Forum on Human Rights.

On 4 April 2022, the SR participated as a speaker in an online webinar titled “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: Implications for and Perspectives on Humanitarian Action” and organised by the Institute of International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. The SR participated in the panel “Economics: Implications of Sanctions and Staple Crop Shortages for Humanitarian Action.

On 15 March, 2022, the SR participated as a speaker in an event held by the Geneva Academy titled IHL Talks: Russia and Ukraine IHL Talks - The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

On 10 March, 2022, the Special Rapporteur participated as a speaker during a substantive discussion on “The Duty to Cooperate” during the official 5th session of The Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development (EMRTD) in NY [virtual mode].

Statements, videos and additional information

On 09 December 2021, The SR participated as a speaker during the third international conference "Future of Peace and Human Rights in West Asia," hosted by FODASUN.

On 08 December, the SR presented a statement for the Hernan Santa Cruz Regional Dialogue for Latin America and the Caribbean: Promotion of Economic, Social, and Cultural and Environmental Rights: Implications for Development, Sustainability and Peace in the COVID-19 Era, held in Costa Rica.

From 02-03 December 2021, The Special Rapporteur participated as a speaker during the Conference on Secondary Sanctions on the International Legal Order, hosted by the Ghent Rolin-Jaequemyns International Law Institute (GRILI) and the Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE) Secondary Sanctions in the International Legal Order Conference - 2-3 December 2021 — Department of European, Public and International Law — Ghent University (ugent.be); conference_-_secondary_sanctions.pdf (ugent.be)

On 22 September 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated as a panellist in a virtual side event on the margins of the 48th Session of the Human Rights Council, on the Negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the realization of the right, hosted by the Permanent Missions of the Republic of Belarus, the People’s Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Nicaragua, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and the Republic of Zimbabwe.

On the 13 September 2021 the Special Rapporteur participated in the conference “Impact of Global economic challenges on social and labor rights”, hosted by Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus

On 08 September 2021 the Special Rapporteur participated as a speaker in the virtual “Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights in Xinjiang, China. The event was hosted by the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China.

On 08 September 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated as a speaker in the Forum on Social Economic Development of Belarus, in Minsk.

On 23 August 2021, The Special participated as a panellist in a webinar on Human Rights and Business: Corporate responsibility to Protect Human Rights, hosted by the Iranian Center for International Criminal Law, and the Responsible Business Promotion Institute.

On 09 June 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated in an International Academic Conference “Unilateral Coercive Measures: Disrespect for International Law and Generation of Serious Negative Human Consequences”, report on the “Unilateral sanctions in the System of International Law”

On 3 June 2021 the Special Rapporteur participated as a speaker in a webinar entitled “The impact of unilateral coercive measures on national health systems of targeted developing countries, in particular on health and well-being of women, children, persons with disabilities and other people in vulnerable situations”. The event was jointly organised by the Permanent Missions of Belarus, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe to the United Nations in New York.

During her presentation, the SR stressed sanctions has devastating effect on the functioning of the national health systems of targeted states, especially affecting those in vulnerable situations: women, children, people with disabilities or those suffering from chronic diseases.

To read the SR’s statement in full, please view
The Full webinar is available on UNTV | See in YouTube

On 3 June 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated in the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum section “Risks of Sanctions for International Financial system and International Business”, presented overview of unilateral sanctions, assessed the legality of unilateral action in inter-state relations, discussed humanitarian impact of unilateral sanctions in targeted societies.

On 26 May 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated in the OXFAM webinar “Right to live without a blockade”, speaking about legal status of unilateral sanctions and their impact in the course of the pandemic.

On 6 April 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated in the CLAA Webinar - Sanctions in Venezuela, Canada

On 11-12 March 2021, the Special Rapporteur delivered a speech to the annual Conference of the Iranian Association for UN Studies (IAUNS) on Sanctions and International Law.

On 25 March 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated to a virtual seminar on the “UK and EU Global Human Rights sanctions regime”. She further addressed the seminar of the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development, under the theme “EU Global human rights sanctions Regime”.

On 25 January 2021, the Special Rapporteur addressed a virtual seminar attended by a group of humanitarian non-governmental organisations, where she presented the functioning of the mandate on unilateral coercive measures, challenges in delivering humanitarian aid, and explored the possibilities of future collaboration with participating organisations.

On 30 November 2020, the Special Rapporteur participated as a keynote speaker, at the Virtual Seminar on unilateral coercive measures and their Impacts in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was held jointly by the Permanent Missions, based in Vienna, of the Republic of Cuba, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The event was attended by 60 participants from 37 countries.

On 16 October 2020, the Special Rapporteur participated in the workshop "International Law and the Internet", delivering a presentation on the issues concerning "Changing nature of sanctions in the cyber-age".

On 14 October 2020, the Special Rapporteur was a main speaker and lecturer at the webinar on the protection of human rights by Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council in the context of unilateral sanctions organized by the Iranian Center for International Criminal Law. The lecture focused on the history and functions of Special Procedures, its current challenges in the context of application of an array of unilateral sanctions, including sectoral sanctions, targeted sanctions, sanctions against ICC judges and official, and cyber sanctions.

On 8 October 2020, the Special Rapporteur participated at the UN Social Forum as one of the key speakers.

On 22 September 2020, the Special Rapporteur attended as a panellist an online the side event on Unilateral Coercive Measures in the context of COVID-19 organized by the Association AIDHDES.

On 27 July 2020, the Special Rapporteur attended an International experts webinar on migration in Europe in the context of Covid-19 pandemic. Her presentation referred to the impact of Unilateral sanction to the migration processes in the course of pandemic, in particular from Venezuela, Yemen, and Iran. She also spoke about impediments to bring their national back home in the course of pandemic, because of the sanctions imposed over airline companies and ships.

On 2 June 2020, the Special Rapporteur participated, as panellist, in a webinar on the impact of unilateral coercive measures on the global fight against COVID-19 while upholding the Charter of the United Nations, promoting international cooperation and ensuring that no one is left behind in times of pandemics.

High-Level Meetings

On 25 March 2024, the Special Rapporteur briefed the UN Security Council at the Arria-Formula meeting on “The impact of unilateral coercive measures on global counter-terrorism efforts” (statement & video)

On 27 November 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated in a high-level event on the margins of the 20th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The event focused on “Unilateral Coercive Measures and their Negative Impact on Socio-Economic Development of States” (statement)

On 10 November 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated as a keynote speaker in a high-level side-event on “Consultations on the Effects and Impact of Economic Unilateral Coercive Measures”, organised by South Center, in Geneva

On 6 November 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated in a public hearing organised by the German Bundestag’s Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid on the topic of “Worsening food insecurity and water scarcity – causes, consequences and solutions”

On 3 November 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated in the 2023 UN Social Forum, and intervened in the panel on “The Contribution of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Promoting Equality and Non-Discrimination” (statement & video)

On 30 October 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated in a side-event organised by the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations in New York, during the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. The theme of the event was the “Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Right to Health and Right to Development”

On 21 September 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated in a side-event on the launch of Venezuela’s Geopolitical Map of Sanctions held during the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York

On 14 September 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated as a keynote speaker in the 2023 Biennial Panel Discussion on Unilateral Coercive Measures and Human Rights with the title “The impact of unilateral coercive measures and over-compliance on the right to development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals” (SR’s Statement / Webcast archive)

On 11 and 12 May 2023, the Special Rapporteur participated in the “Global Expert Group Meeting in Support of the Mid-Point Review of SDG7 at the High-Level Political Forum 2023: Ensuring Universal Energy Access and Advancing Just, Inclusive and Equitable Energy Transitions” (Summary of the Meeting)

On 20 October the Special Rapporteur held a meeting with International Crisis Group on unilateral sanctions, secondary sanctions and over-compliance

On 12 October the Special Rapporteur held a meeting with COI Syria

Between 7-10 June 2022, the Special Rapporteur visited Geneva and had a series of meetings with Permanent Mission Ambassadors of Armenia, China, Iran and Syria.

On 22 March, 2022 the Special Rapporteur met with a delegation of UNICEF regarding the adverse impact of sanctions on children.

Between 15–18 March 2022, the Special Rapporteur visited Geneva and had a series of meetings with the Permanent Missions in Geneva. She met bilaterally the Ambassadors and Deputy Permanent Representatives of Syria, China, Brazil, Cuba, Russia, Iran and Zimbabwe.

On 16 March, 2022, the Special Rapporteur had a meeting with the representatives of States of the NAM Group organized and chaired by the Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations in Geneva.

On 8 February 2022, the Special Rapporteur on Unilateral and Coercive Measures held a meeting with the Director General International Fertilizer Association (IFA)

On 7 February 2022, the Special Rapporteur on Unilateral and Coercive Measures held a meeting with the Deputy Director of the Fertilizers Institute

On 26 January 2022, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Al Jazeera Media Network regarding humanitarian exemptions on Afghanistan - Resolution 2615 (2021).

On 24 January 2022, the Special Rapporteur held a meeting with the Resident Coordinator, and HR Advisor to the RCHC and UNCT for Syria.

On 14 January 2021, the Special Rapporteur conducted a virtual meeting with the Ambassador of Venezuela to discuss the [Venezuela] country visit.

On 12 January 2022, the Special Rapporteur held a meeting with the Resident Coordinator for Iran.

On 09 September 2021, The Special Rapporteur met with The Sanctions Policy Division and Commission and European External Action Service of the European Union, to raise awareness on issues of overcompliance, extraterritoriality and access to humanitarian aid.

On 06 September 2021, The Special Rapporteur met with His Excellency, Ambassador CHEN Xu, and the Like-Minded Group to provide a courtesy briefing to states on the vision and activities of the mandate.

On 25 May 2021, the Special Rapporteur met with the Counsellor of the Embassy of Cuba in Minsk, to discuss impact of the US sanctions against Cuba.

On 16 April 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated in a virtual meeting with George Lopez HR Expert on the impact of sanctions on human right, to discuss contemporary developments of types and mechanisms of unilateral sanctions, humanitarian impact of unilateral sanctions to the directly and indirectly targeted individuals, feasibility of de-listing and humanitarian exemptions mechanisms, possible cooperation mechanisms between the mandate and other UN organs.

On 6 April 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated in a lecture on the functions of the UN Special Procedures and specifics of functions of the mandate including country visits to Qatar and Venezuela, legal qualification and humanitarian impact of unilateral sanctions to the staff of the National Center of Legislation and Legal research of Belaru

On 15 March 2021, the Special Rapporteur held a meeting with the representatives of non-governmental organizations to discuss impact of unilateral sanctions on the population of Syria.

On 9 March 2021, the Special Rapporteur conducted a meeting with the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights about the situation in Venezuela.

On 26 February 2021, the Special Rapporteur contributed to a UN OHCHR consultancy on the study entitled “the contribution of development to the enjoyment of human rights” (A/HRC/RES/41/19, para. 13).

She also gave an academic talk on “Sanctions and their negative Human Rights implications”, at ESIL, IFHV Bochum university.

On 27 January 2021, the Special Rapporteur briefed the UN High Commission on Human Rights on the issues pertaining to the mandate.

On 20 January 2021, the Special Rapporteur conducted a virtual meeting with the Ambassador of Cuba.

On 10 December 2020, the Special Rapporteur issued a series of guidelines on humanitarian aid and humanitarian response in the course of the pandemic 20.12.2020

On 9 December 2020, the Special Rapporteur delivered a Lecture on the outcomes of Qatar country visits for the academic society.

On 25 November 2020, the Special Rapporteur briefed the UN Security Council at the Virtual Arria meeting on "End Unilateral Coercive Measures Now" (watch UN Web TV here: (Part 1/2) and (Part 2/2)).

On 7 October 2020, the Special Rapporteur attended at the Research meeting organized by the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed conflict, Bochum, Germany, presenting the mandate's position on the humanitarian impact of the US sanctions against judges and officials of the International Criminal Court.

On 19 – 23 October 2020, the Special Rapporteur visited Geneva and had a series of meetings with the Permanent Missions in Geneva. She met bilaterally the Ambassadors and Deputy Permanent Representatives of Qatar, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Switzerland, Russia, Belarus, China, Singapore, EU, France, Holy See and Australia.

On 22 October, the Special Rapporteur had a meeting with the representatives of sixteen States of the Like-Minded Group organized and chaired by the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations in Geneva.

On 1 November 2020, the Special Rapporteur started her visit Qatar to assess the impact of unilateral sanctions on the enjoyment of human rights. She was in Qatar from 1 to 12 November at the invitation of the Government.

On 12 November 2020, the Special Rapporteur completed her visit to Qatar and presented her end of mission statement to the media in Doha, as well as issued a press release announcing it.

On 18 September 2020, the Special Rapporteur attended an online meeting with the Permanent Missions and Permanent Observer Missions of Non-Aligned Movement's (NAM) Member States, organized by Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan, in its capacity of the Chair of the NAM Geneva Chapter. During the meeting, Ms. Douhan briefed the participants about her mandate, its activities, outreach and plans.

On 7 September 2020, the Special Rapporteur held online meeting with the President of the National Human Rights Committee. During the meeting, Ms. Douhan discussed the modalities of her visit to Qatar in November 2020, provided the restriction are lifted.

On 1 September 2020, the Special Rapporteur held online meeting with the Permanent Representatives of the Republic of Azerbaijan. During the meeting, Ms. Douhan was invited to attend the upcoming meeting of NAM representatives in Geneva, which is scheduled to take place in the mid of September.

On 1 September 2020, the Special Rapporteur held online meeting with the UN Country Team in Minsk, Belarus. During the meeting, Ms. Douhan briefed the members of the Country Team about the mandate, its activities, outreach and plans.

On 12 August 2020, the Special Rapporteur held online meeting with the Permanent Representatives of the Russian Federation.

On 23 June 2020, the Special Rapporteur attended an online supplementary human dimension meeting organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on freedom of expression, the media and information. She gave a presentation on unilateral sanctions and access to information in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 18 June 2020, the Government of Qatar confirmed its invitation to the Special Rapporteur to undertake an official country visit. The visit is planned to take place from 1 to 12 November 2020.

On 17 June 2020, the Special Rapporteur sent a letter to the Chair of the Special Committee on the Charter of the UN and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization, and of its Working Group of the Whole, to propose cooperation in areas of mutual interest. These include the impact of sanctions regimes on third countries and the overall transparency of sanctions regimes.

On 4 June 2020, the Special Rapporteur wrote a letter to the Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism to propose cooperation with the Office of Counter-Terrorism. She noted that sanctions implemented to combat terrorism in support of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy might undermine certain goals of the Strategy by contributing to conditions that were conducive to the spread of terrorism and had a negative impact on human rights. On 25 June, the Special Rapporteur held an online meeting with the Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism. They discussed cooperation and the Special Rapporteur's role in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

On 28 May 2020, the Special Rapporteur sent a letter to the President of the Human Rights Council expressing her deep concern about the fact that there was no reference in the current text of the President's statement on the human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic to the need to lift or at least suspend any sanctions impeding trade in or delivery of essential humanitarian goods and commodities, such as medicines, antiviral medication, medical equipment, its component parts and relevant software, personal protective equipment and food. Such an omission undermined, inter alia, the ability of sanctioned States to accomplish their responsibility to protect rights of their people.

On 4 May 2020, the Special Rapporteur sent a questionnaire to all Permanent Missions to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva and, on 6 May, she made a call for submissions for her study on the impact of unilateral sanctions on human rights during the state of emergency in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. The Special Rapporteur received responses from, Belarus, Cuba, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Namibia, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, the Syrian Arab Republic, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and the European Union. Responses were also received from international organizations and civil society actors. The Special Rapporteur expresses her gratitude to all respondents. The study fed into the Special Rapporteur's first thematic report to the General Assembly in October 2020.

On 1 May 2020, the Special Rapporteur issued a human rights guidance note on COVID-19, in which she called, inter alia, to lift or at least suspend any sanctions impeding trade in or delivery of essential humanitarian goods and commodities such as medicines, antiviral medication, medical equipment, its component parts and relevant software, and food. She added that the whole scope of unilateral sanctions should be reviewed and minimized in order to enable sanctioned States to ensure the effective protection of their population from COVID-19, to repair their economy and to guarantee the well-being of their people in the aftermath of the pandemic.

On 30 April 2020, the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela confirmed its previous invitation to the Special Rapporteur to undertake an official visit to the country. The visit was planned to take place from 3 to 14 August 2020 but has been postponed due travel restrictions. Following the agreement with the Government, the new dates for the visit are from 11 to 22 January 2020.

On 22 April 2020, the Special Rapporteur participated in an online meeting of the United Nations special procedures and participated in the preparation of a COVID-19 survey.

The Special Rapporteur held online meetings with the Permanent Representatives of the Syrian Arabic Republic, on 22 April, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, on 24 April and 22 May.

On 21 April 2020, the Special Rapporteur, together with a group of other special rapporteurs and independent experts, transmitted an urgent appeal to the Government of the United States of America concerning the alleged ongoing severe impact of its unilateral economic coercive measures on Cuba and the citizens of Cuba in the context of the unprecedented global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also on 17 April 2020, the Special Rapporteur responded to the letter of welcome from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights by sharing her plans and offering her expertise and technical or practical assistance in support of the High Commissioner's efforts to further prevent the adverse consequences of unilateral coercive measures for multilateralism, international law, the international rule of law, the Charter of the United Nations and human rights.

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