Several countries on Tuesday called on the UN to adjust its sanctions regimes at a meeting of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization.

On behalf of the European Union and its member- states, Eric Chaboureau, the first counselor of the Delegation of the EU to the UN, said that it was crucial that sanctions were implemented in full compliance with international human rights law.

“Sanctions are an important tool under the UN Charter for ensuring the maintenance and restoration of international peace and security, so their procedures have to be fair and clear and respect the rights of sanctioned persons, including due process rights such as the right to be informed and the right to an effective review of their designation,” said Chaboureau.

Therefore, the EU underlined the important role of the Ombudsperson to the ISIL (Daesh) and Al-Qaida sanctions committee and the need for the UN Security Council to improve further compliance with due process standards when implementing sanctions, he said.

In the 2005 World Summit declaration, the UN General Assembly called on the Security Council to ensure that fair and clear procedures are in place for the imposition and lifting of sanctions measures. The establishment of the Office of the Ombudsperson to the ISIL (Daesh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee is an example of this approach in practice.

Apart from the EU, a number of other countries at Tuesday’s meeting also expressed their concerns on the UN’s sanctions regimes.

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, permanent representative of Nigeria to the UN, said that almost all existing sanctions were placed against developing countries belonging to the African Union, the Group of 77 and China and the Non-Aligned Movement.

“The imposition of unilateral sanctions goes against the sovereign equality and international law,” said the Nigerian envoy.

Therefore, he called on the UN to reduce the frequency of the resort to unilateral sanctions, to narrow their scope, and to shorten their duration, in order to avoid prolonged damage to the interest of targeted states and their populations.

“In certain situations, the Security Council authorizes sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. In such cases, sanctions could serve as an important tool in the maintenance of peace and security. They should not be used as punitive measures,” said Yedla Umasankar, first secretary/legal adviser of the Permanent Mission of India to the UN.

The sanctions serve their purpose only if they are used, when necessary as a measure of the last resort having tried all other options, and are applied so long as are necessary, in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter and do not violate the principles of international law, Umasankar added.

Nazifullah Salarzai, charge d’affaires of the permanent mission of Afghanistan to the UN, called on capable states and relevant international and regional organizations to offer appropriate technical and financial assistance to other states to enhance their capacity to implement UN’s sanctions.

Since 1966, the UN Security Council has established 30 sanctions regimes, and the measures have ranged from comprehensive economic and trade sanctions to more targeted measures such as arms embargoes, travel bans, and financial or commodity restrictions, information on the UN website shows.

There are 14 ongoing sanctions regimes which focus on supporting political settlement of conflicts, nuclear non-proliferation, and counter-terrorism. Each regime is administered by a sanctions committee chaired by a non-permanent member of the Security Council. Enditem


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