Nov 8, 1986


NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 6 (IFDA/TALIF DEEN)ó The group of 77 Thursday called upon the international community to adopt urgent and effective measures aimed at eliminating the use of coercive measures against developing countries.

In a draft resolution submitted to the UNís economic Committee, the group said it was gravely concerned that the use of coercive measures has adversely affected the economies and development efforts of third world nations, and that, in some cases, those measures have worsened, creating a negative impact on international economic cooperation.

In a report released here last week, the United Nations identified some of these coercive measures to include illegal trade restrictions blockades, embargoes and sanctions.

The government of Nicaragua, which has been subjected to a U.S. economic embargo, has said that coercive economic measures (lost access to credit, lost trade and production losses) and material war damage have cost the country nearly two billion dollars since 1980.

The G-77 resolution deplores the fact that some developed countries continue to apply and, in some cases, have increased the scope and magnitude of economic measures that have the purpose of exerting, directly or indirectly, coercion on the sovereign decisions of developing countries subject to those measures.

The draft reaffirms that developed countries should refrain from threatening or applying trade restrictions, blockades, embargoes and other economic sanctions, incompatible with the provisions of the UN charter and in violation of undertakings contracted, multilaterally and bilaterally, against developing countries.

The group describes these measures as a form of political and economic coercion, which affects the economic, political and social development of developing nations.

The draft also requests the Secretary-General to prepare a comprehensive in-depth report on effective measures to eliminate the use of coercive measures.

In preparing the report, the Secretary-General has been asked to take into account existing information and including (1) relevant information from governments (2) information from all the organs and organisations of the UN system concerned (3) suggestions for monitoring application of the measures concerned.

Additionally, he has been asked to take into account a compilation of the norms, rules, regulations, resolutions and other decisions existing in the organs and organisations of the UN system concerned that are being violated by the use of coercive economic measures against developing countries.

Speaking before the Economic Committee recently, the Nicaraguan Representative Rolando Jose Sevilla Boza condemned the use of economic measures such as embargoes and sanctions as a means of political pressure.

He charged they were being imposed to weaken a sovereign government and even to bring about its downfall.

The U.S. trade embargo against Nicaragua he said, had been periodically expanded and strengthened, in violation of last year's assembly resolution calling for its immediate cessation.

He said such "immoral acts" showed contempt for the rule of law in international relations and should be repudiated by all civilised countries.

He also added that he did not believe that the opinion of one country should prevail over that of 90 countries that had called for the removal of the embargo in the assembly last year.

He said the U.S. had violated the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, the charter of economic rights and duties of states and other rules and principles.

He said the trade embargo against Nicaragua aggravated tensions in the Central American region.

Even the U.S. violating its own embargo, he argued, by exporting arms and munitions to the region, as had been proved by the recent incident in which a plane carrying arms to the region had been shot down.