09 December 2023, New York: CARE International welcomes the historic step taken by the UN Security Council today to establish an humanitarian exemption across all UN sanctions regimes.
Sanctions regimes are important measures applied to states, non-state entities and individuals that may pose a threat to peace and security. In humanitarian action, they can also significantly impede the ability of agencies to deliver neutral and impartial life-saving assistance.
Fast, immediate humanitarian action is needed now more than ever. We are facing the largest global food crisis in modern history, caused by a multiplicity of factors including conflict, climate events, economic crisis and rising levels of inequality. At least 222 million people across 53 countries are expected to face acute food insecurity and need urgent assistance by the end of this year.
Humanitarian organizations like CARE have been calling for this kind of exemption for over a decade.
“The implications of this decision by the Security Council will significantly reduce the legal, administrative and practical impediments that these sanctions have generated for humanitarian action” said Vanessa Jackson, CARE International’s UN Representative in New York. “The exemption will bring a more uniform and predictable approach, applicable to all contexts where sanctions regimes exist, aiding clarity, reducing risks on humanitarians and, most importantly, enabling us to assist people amid humanitarian crises faster and better. This is especially important for high-risk groups including women, children, older people and those living with disabilities”.
Jackson continues: “That over 40 States on and off the Security Council co-sponsored this resolution is a strong signal of cross-regional support and also a sign that the UN Member States still value multilateralism, and humanity over politics”.
It is the responsibility now of governments around the world to incorporate the humanitarian exemption into their domestic sanctions regimes so the benefit of this landmark resolution will apply to all current and future sanctions regimes, and not just those imposed by the UN Security Council.
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CARE Press Officer