Brussels, 25 October 2021/OACPS: Every year on October 25, Member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) observe Anti-Sanctions Day against Zimbabwe to express their solidarity with Zimbabwe and call for the lifting of sanctions and other punitive measures iimposed against Zimbabwe.

On behalf of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the Secretary-General, H. E. Mr Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, joins Member States of the OACPS that are part of SADC in calling on the international community to reconsider these sanctions and to adopt a constructive approach taking into account the efforts made by the Government of Zimbabwe in terms of inclusive sustainable development.

The Secretary-General recalls that these sanctions are counterproductive and have had negative impact on the country, in particular to the most vulnerable populations such as women and children. They have had adverse effects which have resulted in sanctioning of key agricultural and infrastructural development institutions, prevented the country from accessing international financing and destabilised the national banking sector.

The Secretary-General notes with deep concern the worsening of the situation in Zimbabwe from the effects of these unilateral sanctions, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. He urges the lifting of sanctions to facilitate trade of a humanitarian nature, such as essential goods, medicines, and medical supplies. medical equipment, as well as to contribute to the post-pandemic economic recovery.

He welcomes the arrival in Zimbabwe, on 18 October 2021, of the United Nations Special Rapporteur to assess the impacts of these sanctions and inform the international community.