For information only - not an official document.
Press Release No:  UNIS/SC/1215
Release Date:  18 April 2000
 Speakers Call For Clearer Definition, Tighter Targeting of UN Sanctions
As Council Draws on ‘Lessons Learned’ to Refine Sanctions Regimes

Concerned by Impact on Innocent Populations, Vulnerable Third Countries,
Members Stress Sanctions’ Role as Behaviour-Changer, Not Primitive Tool

 NEW YORK, 17 April (UN Headquarters) -- Acknowledging that the case for sanctions remained compelling, a number of speakers in the Security Council tonight called for their refinement and improvements in their effectiveness.

 Speaking in a special debate on the subject, representatives welcomed the decision of Council members to establish guidelines for a working group to improve the effectiveness of United Nations sanctions. They urged that sanctions regimes should be clearly defined and focused, and carefully tailored to the particular situation in which they were to be applied. Some also urged the streamlining of procedures for approving humanitarian exemptions, and a study of the negative collateral effects of sanctions on third States before they were applied.

 There was a need to improve the capacity of the United Nations to implement sanctions once they were imposed, some delegations said. While most delegations said that sanctions should be lifted once their objectives had been achieved, one representative said the termination of sanctions should be directly and transparently linked to confirmation of change in the affected State.

 Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, who presided over part of the meeting (Canada is President of the Council for April), said sanctions must be integrated into a broader Council strategy of conflict prevention and resolution. They should aim to change the behaviour of wrongdoers. Canada intended to convene a conference of experts to develop a regime to govern the use of sanctions, including standardized policy guidelines and operational principles.  

 Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast, briefing the Council earlier on the subject, said the Security Council could facilitate the administration and implementation of sanctions regimes by developing greater clarity and uniformity of language and technical terminology in its resolutions. Council resolutions could specify criteria for lifting or suspending sanctions, he said. 

 Statements were made by the representatives of Bangladesh, United Kingdom, United States, France, Ukraine, Namibia, China, Malaysia, Argentina, Netherlands, Tunisia, Mali, Jamaica, Russian Federation, Portugal (on behalf of the European Union), Germany, Pakistan, Libya, Italy, Sweden, Australia, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Cuba, Iraq, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey. The observer of Switzerland also spoke.
Council Work Programme

 The Security Council met this afternoon in an open meeting to discuss general issues relating to sanctions.

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