Working Group On Sanctions - Draft Report
14 February 2001

CASI web version: 25 April 2001.

On 17 April 2000, the Security Council established the "Working Group on General Issues on Sanctions". The Working Group was established by the President of the Council, in Note S/2000/319, and is made up of representatives of the States on the Security Council in 2000 and 2001. This Note explained that it was creating "an informal working group of the Council to develop general recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of United Nations sanctions", and stated that the Working Group should report its findings by 30 November 2000. This completion date was later postponed to December 2000, and then further postponed indefinitely due to the lack of agreement on a text. The Working Group is chaired by Anwarul Karim Chowdhury of Bangladesh, who has produced various draft reports after consulting the members of the Working Group. This is the latest draft, from 14 February 2001, and it was sent to CASI.

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Chairman's Proposed Outcome
Working Group On Sanctions
14 February 2001

Cluster I: Sanctions Administration
Sanctions Committees

Effective administration of UN sanctions requires active and engaged sanctions committees which fulfil their mandates as established in the enacting sanctions resolution. Improvements in the functioning of the sanctions committees need to be encouraged and further developed. In general, sanctions committees should ensure that regular assessments of all aspects and impacts of sanctions are conducted. Equally, the sanctions committees should be concerned with effective implementation and monitoring of sanctions regimes. The working methods of the sanctions committees need to promote transparency, openness and efficiency and should increase interaction between the committees, Member States and other relevant actors. To this end the Working Group recommends that:

United Nations Secretariat

The Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch, which services sanctions committees, is not currently equipped to provide the most effective support to the sanctions committees in their administration of sanctions regimes. There is urgent need for strengthening the Branch, by providing it with adequate manpower, expertise and resources. Expertise already available, within the Secretariat should be pooled and utilized more effectively. To this end, the Working Group recommends that:

Cooperation with relevant international, regional and sub-regional organizations

The effectiveness of United Nations sanctions could be greatly enhanced by more regular consultation and cooperation between the Secretariat and the Sanctions Committees on the one hand and relevant international, regional and sub-regional organizations on the other. To this end, the Working Group recommends that:

Cluster II: Sanctions Design
Sanctions Resolutions - Imposition, Suspension and Lifting

Sanctions should be established and applied only in accordance with Chapter VTI of the UN Charter when the Security Council determines that there is a threat to peace, a breach of peace or act of aggression. Sanctions should be resorted to only with the utmost caution, when other peaceful options provided under the Chapter are inadequate or exhausted. Sanctions regimes, in particular the Security Council resolutions that enact them must be carefully designed clearly establishing the goals and duration, identifying the targets, tailoring the type of sanctions imposed so that they are adequate to the situation, specifying clear criteria that need to be satisfied in order for the sanctions to be suspended or lifted. It is also imperative that sanctions regimes are unambiguous and precise to facilitate effective implementation by States and to maximize the likelihood that the targeted entities comply with the established conditions.--To this end, the Working Group recommends that:

* Chairman's proposed placement

Humanitarian exemptions

Sanctions, in particular economic sanctions, can have serious and negative impacts on the humanitarian situation of people living within a targeted State or in a region controlled by a targeted entity. Sanctions regimes should be therefore designed to minimize the potential for adverse humanitarian impacts and to maximize the ability for humanitarian goods and services to reach civilian populations. To this end, the Working Group recommends that:

Targeted Sanctions

Targeted sanctions are a useful tool to focus pressure on target States and entities and minimize unintended impact on civilian populations and non-targeted States and entities. However, targeted sanctions regimes may have some impact on non-target populations, and must be carefully and precisely defined. The Security Council should maintain its flexibility to tailor sanctions to fit the particular circumstances, recognizing that each type of sanction has a different scope, impact and effect. Each type of targeted sanctions can be effective, depending on the circumstances, if implemented and monitored properly. To this end, the Working Group recommends that:

Cluster III: Sanctions implementation
Assessment and Evaluation

Once in force, sanctions should be carefully and regularly assessed and evaluated. These assessments, which should be provided for in the relevant sanctions resolution, should take account of the effectiveness of sanctions in achieving the objectives of the Security Council and their unintended impacts on the populations living in the targeted State or in the region controlled by the targeted entity, as well as on other States. To this end, the Working Group recommends that:

Monitoring and Enforcement

Implementation of sanctions is first and foremost the responsibility of Member States. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of sanctions can be enhanced when they are properly monitored. Effective monitoring can assist States in developing better methods of implementation and provide valuable information for States and the Security Council to investigate and identify to counter efforts to violate sanctions. To this end, the Working Group recommends that:

Assisting Member States to implement sanctions

As member States are ultimately responsible for effectively implementing sanctions, it is imperative that technical, legal and other types of assistance be facilitated to them as far as possible. To this end, the Working Group recommends that:

Unintended impact of sanctions on third States

Although unintended impacts of sanctions on third States are often unavoidable, they can be minimized through effective consultation with affected States as provided for in article 50 of the UN Charter as well as by taking such impacts into account in the pre-assessment, targeting, and ongoing evaluation of sanctions regimes. To this end, the Working Group recommends that:

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