Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

UN Sanctions Regime Reformed

January 6, 2010

The UN Security Council’s December reform of its policies and procedures for terrorist sanctions incorporated several provisions recommended in a report co-authored at the Watson Institute late last year.

Mounting legal and parliamentary challenges to the use of targeted sanctions, which “play a central role in UN efforts to maintain peace and security,” posed serious threats to the Security Council’s ability to counter terrorism and prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, according to the October report, Addressing Challenges to Targeted Sanctions.

The report presented options – from changes to the current UN review procedure, to measures at the national and regional level, and finally to proposals for the creation of a review mechanism at the UN Security Council level. And report co-author Sue E. Eckert, an Institute senior fellow, worked with UN officials and member states as part of an ongoing collaboration on sanctions and on terrorist finances.

Among other benefits of the Security Council’s action, “this remedy should make sure the list reflects the current threat,” she told the New York Times last month.