Global Policy Forum

Standing Security Council Sanctions Committee: Proposed Elements of Mandate



March 2000


The issue of changing the existing Security Council practices once new regimes of sanctions are introduced by the Council in addition to those 9 already in effect, raised by the President of the Security Council for the month of January Ambassador Holbrooke, has been recognised as an important problem which should be adequately addressed by the Security Council.

A Standing SC Sanctions Committee can become an effective tool in improving sanctions management by the Council and in streamlining its working procedures in dealing with sanctions. Eventually, with the consent of all Security Council Members, it would also replace existing and future sanctions committees, thus addressing the problem of increased number of sanctions regimes and committees established to administer them.

[This] Committee would carry out its functions with an appropriate degree of transparency and would be charged, in particular, with the responsibility of:
1) assisting the Security Council in outlining [the] general policy in the field of sanctions, 2) monitoring the implementation and assessing political, economic, social and humanitarian effects of sanctions imposed by the Security Council,
3) establishing appropriate arrangements and channels of communication with countries and parties concerned, organs, organisations and bodies of the UN system, in order to improve the enforcement of sanctions and to collect all information available on alleged violations of arms embargoes and other sanctions regimes,
4) elaborating ways and means to ensure the effectiveness of existing sanctions and to minimise their collateral damage, including through regular visits of Chair- and Vice-Chairpersons to the regions concerned in order to obtain firsthand accounts of the impact of sanctions regimes and the results and difficulties in their implementation,
5) elaborating ways and means to ensure the efficiency of management of sanctions regimes (revitalising the work of "dormant committees"),
6) estimating potential and actual losses and costs incurred by third States and collating information on international assistance available to such States, 7) coordinating the relevant activities within the UN Secretariat, as well as by the concerned organisations both within and outside the UN system,
8) collating information on and examining all existing sanctions and similar regimes, including those established at the regional level, by international organisations and through other international arrangements of universal and regional character;
9) reviewing recent developments in sanctions policy, in particular, the concept of targeted sanctions with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of future sanctions regimes;
10) reviewing other developments in the context of sanctions.

The Committee would adopt its rules of procedure as well as guidelines for the conduct of its work with respect to each sanctions regime in effect. The Committee would have a Chairperson and four Vice-Chairpersons from among [the] non-permanent SC Members representing all regional groups. Rotation principles and functions of the members of the Committee's bureau would be defined in the rules of procedure. Financing of the relevant activities of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons, including their visits to the countries and regions concerned, should be addressed in consultation with the relevant UN bodies and parts of the UN Secretariat.

According to the understanding reached among the Members of the Council, pending the creation of the above-mentioned Standing Security Council Committee, a Security Council Sanctions Committee of the Whole should be established. Its main task would consist [of] preparing, as early as possible, a meeting of the Security Council to consider the issue of sanctions in all its aspects, including the preparation of proposals, draft documents and decisions necessary for the establishment and functioning of the Standing SC Sanctions Committee.


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