Leader Joe Chuman, who also teaches on human rights for Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, spoke to the Iranian Labour News Agency on the need for countries to cooperate during the COVID-19 pandemic, to include suspending sanctions in order to transfer medical supplies:
Asked about is it appropriate to impose sanctions in a situation where the world is facing a major epidemic, he said “The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet has called for the easing of sanctions to enable nations so affected to be able to purchase the vaccines necessary to protect their populations.”
“She cited Iran as one such country, noting that the populations of these sanctioned countries are in no way responsible for the imposition of those sanctions. I agree with this position.”
Chuman who has been a Leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture since 2008 added that the preservation of health, as with providing assistance in the case of famine, should supersede political concerns, international disputes and war. It is, again, a fundamental human right of the greatest moment, and in the case of Covid-19, urgency.