News

Tools, Tasks and Tough Thinking: Sanctions and R2P

October 2013 - The cases where sanctions have been applied to protect populations experiencing ongoing or impending mass atrocities are few and have produced mixed results. The UN Security Council imposed various targeted sanctions in 2005 in the case of Darfur, and in Côte d’Ivoire and Libya in 2011. The Darfur case exemplifies all that can go wrong during the sanctions design process. A Security Council draft resolution aimed at sanctioning more than thirty persons responsible for killings in Darfur faced serious opposition and ultimately listed only four individuals when passed. The UN debate went on so long prior to sanctions imposition that whoever was to face financial sanctions almost surely avoided them. Côte d’Ivoire and Libya were the first direct Responsibility to Protect (R2P) sanctions measures. Each ultimately gave way to military means of stifling the killing power of a former ruler and a falling one. In 2013 Syria stands as an example where the failure of multilateral support for sanctions by the UN, steadfast enablers in the governments of Iran and Russia, and porous borders means declining ability to have sanctions exert the pressure on the Assad regime needed to deny him the means to kill his own citizens.…

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Reaching Diplomatic Agreement with Iran

August 2013 - Because of the historic mistrust between the United States and Iran, as well as the complexities of the nuclear issue, achieving an agreement will require significant new initiatives and greater diplomatic flexibility on both sides.

This discussion paper outlines options for the United States and its partners in the UN Security Council and the P5+1. We propose an immediate initiative for constructive engagement and a longer-term diplomatic strategy, in support of the new round of P5+1 discussions that are set to begin in October. To take advantage of the current opportunity for engaging with Iran on a solution to the nuclear standoff, we recommend a three-pronged strategy.…

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The Success of Sanctions: Lessons Learned from the EU Experience

The Success of Sanctions

(Ashgate, 2013) By Francesco Giumelli

The effectiveness of sanctions cannot purely be measured by the way they change the behaviour of their intended target. The degree to which sanctions constrain a rogue state's behaviour and the signals they send to future targets should also be prime considerations.…

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Falling Short: UN Security Council Delisting Procedural Reforms Before European Courts

ssrp_falling_short_1

March 2013 - European courts are challenging the domestic implementation of individually targeted UN anti-terrorism sanctions established by Security Council Resolution 1267. The Office of the Ombudsperson created by the Council in 2009 provides some legal rights for petitioners seeking to be delisted, but it does not meet the standard of ‘effective judicial protection’ established in European court rulings. This report examines the legal issues surrounding this issue and the implications for European compliance with UN targeted sanctions.

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Getting Smarter About Sanctions

April 2012 - Faced with a global outcry against the cost in human suffering caused by comprehensive sanctions in the early 1900s, the UN Security Council began discussion of the potential of 'targeted' or 'smart' sanctions in 1993. After 1994, every case of Security Council sanctions fit this new format, aimed at applying pressure directly to decision-makers and political leaders while minimizing their impact on the global population. These sanctions were largely coercive in nature, and were perceived by a number of  states as being cumbersome and punitive.

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Friend not Foe: Opening Spaces for Civil Society Engagement to Prevent Violent Extremism

Friend Not Foe

May 2011 – Restrictive counterterrorism measures are having unintended negative effects on human rights defenders and civil society activists in many countries. This study traces the many harmful impacts of overly broad measures adopted in the name of fighting terrorism—from armed repression to restrictions on the ability of civil society groups to operate and receive funding. The report includes case studies from Colombia, Kenya, Manipur, and Mindanao, and new material on gender impacts and the militarization of aid. Friend not Foe

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Integrating UN Sanctions for Peace and Security

Integrating UN Sanctions

October 2010 – Sanctions are integral to UN peace and security strategies in many parts of the world, but they are not coordinated sufficiently with peacekeeping, diplomatic mediation, and other instruments of UN policy. Misunderstandings and inadequate information sharing hinder the implementation of sanctions and impede coordination.…

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Human Rights Standards for Targeted Sanctions

Human Right Targeted Sanctions

January 2010 Legal scholar Erika de Wet and sanctions expert David Cortright team up to analyze the core principles of international human rights law in relation to the procedures for the imposition of targeted sanctions by the UN Security Council and the European Union. They define core legal standards such as the right to an effective remedy and the right to be heard, as interpreted in recent European court rulings. They conclude that while UN and EU listing and delisting procedures have improved in recent years, they still fall short of guaranteeing fundamental legal rights.…

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Oversight or Overlooked? Civil Society’s Role in Monitoring and Reforming Security Systems and the Practice of Counterterrorism

Oversight or Overlooked

March 2009 – A report to Cordaid, this document considers civil society’s role in monitoring Security System Reform (SSR) and counterterrorism both in policy and in practice. It argues that civil society engagement, particularly with local actors, is central to ensuring proper civilian oversight and the overall effectiveness of both SSR and counterterrorism efforts and examines how efforts to engage civil society may be improved.…

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Enhancing the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Sanctions

Enhancing Implementation UN Sanctions

April 2007 – Proceedings from a sanctions symposium sponsored in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Greece to the United Nations. Co-sponsoring organizations included The Fourth Freedom Forum and the Kroc Institute, The Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University and the Stockholm Process on Targeted Sanctions at Uppsala University. David Cortright, George A. Lopez and Kroc Institute professor Peter Wallensteen spoke at the event and met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who acknowledged the work of the Sanctions Research Program in his keynote address.…

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The Smarter U.S. Option: A Full Summit with Iran

Smarter US Option

June 2006 – This study draws on lessons from 27 years of U.S. sanctions on Iran and research on what mix of carrots and sticks have resulted in past cases of denuclearization. It argues that the escalating crisis between Iran and the United States belongs on the bilateral summit table, not at the United Nations Security Council.…

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An Action Agenda for Enhancing the United Nations Program on Counter-Terrorism

Action Agenda

September 2004 – This report is one of the first analytical assessments of the work of the United Nations Counter-terrorism Committee, which was created by the Security Council in September 2001. It analyzes the changing responsiveness of member states to the reporting requirements of the resolution. It also explores trends that have led many members to call for strengthening the committee’s institutional capacity to respond to member requests for reporting assistance and for increased training in the procedures called for by SCR 1373 and international treaties.…

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The End Game: Removing Sanctions in Iraq

Removing Sanctions in Iraq

May 2003 – This report provides a brief overview of some of the issues associated with the lifting of UN sanctions in Iraq. It also notes that sanctions termination will be necessary in order to clarify procedures for the resumption of Iraqi oil exports and to remove trade and investment barriers that impede Iraq’s economic recovery. The stakes in this debate go far beyond the question of freeing trade, however. Fundamental issues of international law also hang in the balance. The verification of Iraq’s disarmament, the UN role in Iraq’s reconstruction and political transition, the prospects for restraining weapons proliferation in the region, and the fate of hundreds of billions of dollars of debt and compensation claims-all hinge on how sanctions are lifted.…

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Contested Case: Do the Facts Justify the Case for War in Iraq?

Do the Facts Justify the Case for War in Iraq

March 2003 – This report examines the key questions being asked by the international community regarding the justification provided for the invasion of Iraq and engaging in regime transition via war in Iraq. The report employs data from a series of earlier reports as it classifies the arguments made by the U.S. and UK governments.  Also examined are claims made by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell regarding Iraq’s biological and chemical weapons and Saddam Hussein’s links with al-Qaeda. The report concludes that the evidence provided by these two governments has not made a compelling case for war.…

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Grading Iraqi Compliance

Grading Iraqi Compliance

March 2003 – The U.S. and other governments contend that the United Nations disarmament process in Iraq is not working, and that Iraq has been in continued defiance of Security Council resolutions since the end of the war to liberate Kuwait in 1991.  This report presents an objective analysis of the Security Council demands on Baghdad that were embedded in its resolutions. It lists Iraqi efforts to cooperate with UN inspections and also identifies areas of inadequate compliance.…

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The Progress of UN Disarmament in Iraq: An Assessment Report

The Progress of UN Disarmament in Iraq

January 2003 – This report provides an assessment of the intensive inspection activity of UN weapons monitors in Iraq, which was mandated in Security Council Resolution 1441 in 2002. Issued just after the January 27 update to the Security Council on UN inspections provided by chief of operations, Hans Blix,  the report concurs with Blix’s assessment that “Iraq has on the whole cooperated rather well so far” with UN inspectors.…

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Sanctions, Inspections and Containment: Viable Policy Options in Iraq

Sanctions, Inspections and Containment

June 2002 – This study outlines practical policy options for reducing and containing the Iraqi weapons threat without resort to armed force. It suggests steps for reformulating UN sanctions in Iraq. It proposes a diplomatic bargaining strategy for gaining Iraqi compliance with renewed UN weapons inspections. And it calls for the development of an “enhanced containment” system of financial controls and externally based border monitoring to limit Iraq’s military potential and prevent the regime from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.…

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Sanctions Sans Commitment: An Assessment of UN Arms Embargoes

April 2002 – Arms embargoes are the most frequently employed form of economic sanction and a potentially powerful instrument of UN peace- and security-building. By denying aggressors and human rights abusers the implements of war and repression, arms embargoes contribute directly to preventing and reducing the level of armed conflict. Moreover, in constricting only selected weapons and military-related goods and services, and in denying these to ruling elites, their armies, and other violent combatants, arms embargoes constitute the quintessential example of a “smart sanction.”…

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Sanctions and the Search for Security

Sanctions and the Search for Security

(Lynne Rienner, 2002) By David Cortright and George A. Lopez.
 

Following the publication of The Sanctions Decade — lauded as the definitive history and accounting of United Nations sanctions in the 1990s — David Cortright and George Lopez continue their collaboration to examine the changing context and meaning of sanctions and the security dilemmas that the Security Council now faces.…

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