Sanctions and Embargos

5 July 1992

The 25th Triennial Congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1-6 July 1992 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia:

United Nations imposed sanctions and embargos against Iraq, Libya and South Africa, and the long-lasting blockade inflicted on Cuba and Vietnam by the US Government, call for clarity and understanding of WILPF’s positions in this regard.

WILPF supports sanctions and embargoes imposed by the UN Security Council in case of aggression of one state against another, and after mediation under Chapter VI fails. Such sanctions and embargoes must be in accordance also with international human rights and humanitarian conventions and agreements, that is, sanctions and embargoes can under no circumstances include food and medicines, medical supplies and equipment.

WILPF supports sanctions against countries that are in gross violation of international human rights instruments and the spirit of the Charter, as in the case of South Africa with its institutional racist policy of apartheid.

1. WILPF opposes and calls for the immediate end to the embargo against Iraq. The continuation of the embargo is in violation of the Charter and the Security Council’s resolution which imposed the embargo in the first place. The embargo on food and medicines and medical supplies was all along, and continues to be, a violation of international humanitarian conventions. It brings untold suffering and deaths to the Iraqi people, particularly the children.

2. WILPF opposes and calls for the immediate end to the threats by the US, UK and France, and the UN imposed embargo against Libya. The embargo is imposed against Libya because of its refusal to extradite two of its citizens to a foreign country which alleges them of having committed a crime. The embargo is in violation of the UN Charter.

3. WILPF opposes and calls for the immediate end of the blockade against Cuba, imposed for many years by the US Government, in order to destabilize the country with a view to destroying its economic and social system. This is in violation of international human rights conventions and the UN Charter.

4. WILPF opposes and calls for the immediate end of the embargo against Vietnam imposed by the US Government for more than 15 years.

5. WILPF calls for the continuation of sanctions against South Africa until the apartheid system is totally dismantled and all the people of South Africa enjoy equal rights in all respects.