WFSW: Against embargos, for Peace and Cooperation

The COVID-19 pandemic that strikes almost every country around the world today has devastating effects on the people’s health and life, as well as devastating economic and social consequences. These consequences are not the same everywhere and do not affect equally different social strata: they are more dramatic for poorest countries and, almost everywhere in the world, for the the most insecure, the most badly off. Where more or less insidious armed conflicts persist and where embargoes are enforced the suffering of the populations concerned is tragically aggravated.
The establishment of economic and financial embargoes outside the framework of the United Nations should be condemned. Today, such embargoes as those against Cuba, Venezuela, Iran or Gaza are weakening societies facing the pandemic and are therefore criminal offences. Adding to that, they pose a real threat to the rest of the world, since no country will be immune to the pandemic until the population of another country has the means to protect itself.
The same is true of the sub-regional wars that continue to rage — in some cases in an exceedingly destructive way — as is the case in Libya, Yemen, Syria, the Central African Republic, in South Sudan or Somalia, ignoring the call launched in March 2020 by the Secretary General of the United Nations to end armed conflicts around the world. Such conflicts, are as well a major factor worsening the risks of contamination and impoverishment of the targeted populations in the areas concerned.
It is high time for the international community to find the path towards an effective cooperation and to give the United Nations system the power to resolve through negotiation the crises and conflicts that threaten the world.
That is why, the WFSW joins the mobilization of the numerous researchers and other scientific workers as well as that of progressive organizations from all over the world in a call to state powers and regional forces:

  • To put an end to all embargoes causing the populations to suffer, much more severely than their leaders, in many regions of the world;
  • To cease hostilities and return to the negotiating table to find solutions for peace for the benefit of peoples suffering from the destructions and insecurity as much as from the Pandemic;
  • To develop international cooperation to immediately extend care measures to the populations;
  • To jointly act to reorient research efforts and economic exchanges towards the reduction of inequalities, famine, disease, the plundering of planetary resources and towards combating the climate changes.

May 13, 2020
(released June 23rd)

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The issue of embargoes and sanctions is a multifaceted one. Neither ignore science and scientific labour. Big publishers set an example. Are you looking forward to publish an article, share a contribution that you consider to be a valuable one? Take into account the perhaps unexpected restrictions that you may encounter, as set in the requirement that authors make specific commitments totally unrelated to scientific merit or ethics. The example below, which involves one of the world’s leading scientific publishers, is instructive. (Emphasis added)

“Author Representations / Ethics and Disclosure / Sanctions”
I affirm the Author Representations noted below, and confirm that I have reviewed and complied with the relevant Instructions to Authors, Ethics in Publishing policy, Declarations of Interest disclosure and information for authors from countries affected by sanctions (Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Burma, Syria, or Crimea)”.

If I and/or any of my co-authors reside in Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Burma, Syria, or Crimea, the Article has been prepared in a personal, academic or research capacity and not as an official representative or otherwise on behalf of the relevant government or institution.”


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