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UK Mission to the United Nations

New York

London 19:53, 02 Jan 2013
New York 14:53, 02 Jan 2013


UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Council Unanimously Adopts Sanctions Package against Libya

Acting under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council has the right to impose sanctions on a State or entity in order to retain or restore international peace and security. Since the end of the Cold War, the imposition of sanctions has increasingly featured as an important diplomatic tool used by the Security Council to apply pressure to comply with the Security Council's stated objectives.

United Nations sanctions measures are imposed on a country or entity through the adoption of a Security Council resolution. A subsidiary body of the Security Council, usually referred to as a "Sanctions Committee", consisting of representatives from all fifteen members of the Security Council, is then mandated to ensure that the sanctions measures are properly implemented and enforced by all Member States of the United Nations.  The United Kingdom attaches great importance to the development of more effective and targeted sanctions measures.

While sanctions are not the answer to every situation, targeted sanctions have proven to be effective in the past.  For example arms embargos and financial sanctions in South Africa at the end of Apartheid; Sanctions on Libya had previously encouraged Colonel Qadhafi to abandon his nuclear programme, and in Serbia, sanctions against Milosevic's regime contributed to turning the population away from his brand of nationalism, when ordinary Serbs could see how their country was falling behind its neighbours.

There are examples today of sanctions in action.  The latest sanctions on Libya target Qadhafi and his associates, and those Libyan organisations responsible for funding his regime.   Asset freezes and embargoes on specific goods related to nuclear and missile programmes are decelerating progress towards Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, and may be having an impact on the policy decisions of the Iranian leadership.  Targeted sanctions on North Korean entities reduce that country’s ability to proliferate nuclear-related material.

Follow the link for information on the range of United Nations Sanctions Committees and how they function.

For more about sanctions, visit the Foreign and Commonweath Office website. Follow the link for more information on the range of United Nations Sanctions Committees and how they function.

European Union

Within the framework of the European Commission Common Foreign and Security Policy, sanctions or 'restrictive measures' have become a frequently used policy instrument, either in the form of European Union sanctions or as sanctions implementing United Nations Security Council resolutions. As a coercive instrument, sanctions are generally employed to react to violations of international law, violations of human rights, and policies that do not respect the rule of law and democratic principles.

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