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SECURITY COUNCIL SANCTIONS COMMITTEES: AN OVERVIEW

Under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Security Council can take enforcement measures to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such measures range from economic and/or other sanctions not involving the use of armed force to international military action.

The use of mandatory sanctions is intended to apply pressure on a State or entity to comply with the objectives set by the Security Council without resorting to the use of force. Sanctions thus offer the Security Council an important instrument to enforce its decisions. The universal character of the United Nations makes it an especially appropriate body to establish and monitor such measures.

The Council has resorted to mandatory sanctions as an enforcement tool when peace has been threatened and diplomatic efforts have failed (see below). The range of sanctions has included comprehensive economic and trade sanctions and/or more targeted measures such as arms embargoes, travel bans, financial or diplomatic restrictions.

At the same time, a great number of States and humanitarian organizations have expressed concerns at the possible adverse impact of sanctions on the most vulnerable segments of the population, such as women and children. Concerns have also been expressed at the negative impact sanctions can have on the economy of third countries.

In response to these concerns, relevant Security Council decisions have reflected a more refined approach to the design, application and implementation of mandatory sanctions. These refinements have included measures targeted at specific actors, as well as humanitarian exceptions embodied in Security Council resolutions. Targeted sanctions, for instance, can involve the freezing of assets and blocking the financial transactions of political elites or entities whose behaviour triggered sanctions in the first place. Recently, smart sanctions have been applied to conflict diamonds in African countries, where wars are funded in part by the trade of illicit diamonds for arms and related materiel.

On 17 April 2000, the members of the Security Council established, on a temporary basis, the Working Group on General Issues on Sanctions to develop general recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of United Nations sanctions. The proposed outcome document remains under active consideration, with focus being placed on those issues where agreement has yet to be reached.

Detailed information on each sanctions committee and working group, including relevant measures, lists, Committee Guidelines and comprehensive documentation, including official documents and Press Releases, is available on webpages that can be accessed through the links below.

Sanctions Committees and Working Groups

Active Sanctions Committees

Sanctions Committees Bureaux for 2005

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 918 (1994) concerning Rwanda

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003)

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) concerning Côte d'Ivoire

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning The Sudan

 

Active Working Groups

Working Groups Bureaux for 2005

Security Council Informal Working Group on General Issues related to Sanctions

Security Council Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004)

 

Terminated Sanctions Committees

. Security Council Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) concerning the situation between Iraq and Kuwait (Terminated pursuant to resolution 1483 (2003) of 22 May 2003 - see 1518 Committee above)

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 748 (1992) concerning the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Terminated pursuant to resolution 1506 (2003) of 12 September 2003)

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola (Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA)(Terminated pursuant to resolution 1448 (2002) of 9 December 2002).

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 985 (1995) concerning Liberia (Terminated pursuant to resolution 1343 (2001) of 7 March 2001, see above)

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1343 (2001) concerning Liberia (Terminated pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) of 22 December 2003, see above)

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1160 (1998) (Terminated pursuant to resolution 1367 (2001) of 10 September 2001)

Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1298 (2000) concerning the situation between Eritrea and Ethiopia (Terminated in pursuance of Presidential Statement S/PRST/2001/14 of 15 May 2001)

 

 

 

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