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Security Council Hears From Sanctions Committee

Security Council Hears Briefings From Its Sanctions Committees

New York, Dec 15 2008 7:10PM

The United Nations Security Council was briefed today by the heads of its subsidiary bodies entrusted with monitoring sanctions on Sudan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Somalia, Al-Qaida and the Taliban, Côte d’Ivoire, Iran, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.

Giulio Terzi de Sant’Agata of Italy, who chaired the Committee on Sudan sanctions and the Committee concerning the DPRK, said chairing the former had been a challenge due to a lack of consensus among members. The latter committee had communicated with various individual Member States and air transport organizations in reply to queries on the sanctions imposed in 2006 after the DPRK claimed to have conducted a nuclear test.

Dumisani Kumalo of South Africa, chair of the Committee on Somalia sanctions, reported that the Monitoring Group had unsparingly described widespread violations of the arms embargo, which had continued unabated for the past 16 years, as well as the state of lawlessness. The Council could not watch Somalia become an even worse disaster; even if it passed tougher security and embargo measures, the situation demanded a comprehensive solution.

Jan Grauls of Belgium, chair of the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions Committee, the Committee on Côte d’Ivoire sanctions and the Committee on Iran sanctions, said several important innovations had been introduced with regard to the first on listing and de-listing, notification of sanctioned individuals and entities, posting of narrative summaries of reasons for listing and review mechanisms.

The sanctions regime against the named groups was one of the most important tools in the fight against terrorism and Member States should use it to the fullest extent possible by proposing the names of key actors for listing and complying fully with the sanctions measures, he added.

On Côte d’Ivoire, he said the various reports of the Group of Experts had established serious failures in implementation of sanctions, including ignorance, indifference and, in certain cases, contempt for the measures. Especially striking had been the lack of follow-up in numerous, serious allegations of human rights violations, particularly cases of sexual violence against women and children.

On Iran, sanctions against that country had undoubtedly “hit the nuclear programme and most actors and intermediaries involved in the programme,” Mr. Grauls said, but the Committee should take a closer look at national reports and examine more thoroughly deficiencies in implementation.

Indonesia’s Marty Natalegawa, chair of the committees on DRC and Rwanda, noted that the Council had effectively lifted the arms embargo on the DRC, though supplier States are still required to notify the Committee on shipments to the Government. The Committee had updated the list of individuals and entities subject to sanctions but implementation of the assets freeze and travel ban was hindered when listed individuals had no tangible assets and did not travel across borders.

The level of awareness and implementation of sanctions remained very limited, requiring the full collaboration and engagement of States in the region. It was to be hoped that the Council would integrate the sanctions regime into a wider political strategy to end the conflict.

The Rwanda Committee had been largely inactive over the past 10 years, and Indonesia has recommended its dissolution.

Panama’s Ricardo Alberto Arias, Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, said “fruitful” exchanges within the Group had been crucial in exploring new ways to make the Council more efficient in its deliberations.

ENDS

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