On 15 April, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the National Lawyers Guild (US) International Committee hosted a webinar on unilateral coercive measures, particularly economic sanctions, as acts of war. The discussion focused particularly on the threat posed by these aggressive actions perpetuated by the United States, Canada and the European Union, among others, during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
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The webinar, conducted over Zoom, noted that one-third of the world is currently subjected to economic sanctions, typically imposed in violation of the UN Charter and other relevant international law in order to extract political concessions or impose regime change.
Speakers offered updates on the current impact of economic sanctions and blockades around the globe; discussed the illegality and political and colonial context of these measures; and opportunities for legal challenges and building the global movement to lift all sanctions.
Speakers: Micol Savia (IADL, Geneva); Raji Sourani (PCHR, Gaza/Palestine); Roger Wareham, (Dec. 12th Movement, U.S.); Nina Farnia (NLG); Cristóbal Cornieles (Venezuelan Association of Jurists); Martha Schmidt (NLG IC)
The webinar was moderated by Suzanne Adely, IADL Bureau member and co-chair of the NLG International Committee, and Charlotte Kates, NLG International Committee coordinator and IADL member.
Participants highlighted campaigns against unilateral coercive measures, such as the Sanctions Kill campaign and the work of The Red Nation, an indigenous anti-imperialist organization. The organizers are planning to continue future webinars and other efforts against sanctions and other forms of unilateral coercive measures.