Sanctions: a crucial tool to the Security Council [fr]
Enhancing the effectiveness of United Nations sanctions - Security Council - Intervention of Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Thursday 3 August 2017
First of all, I should like to thank the Egyptian presidency of the Security Council for organizing this important meeting, as well as the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, for his very informative briefing.
With 13 active sanctions regimes, sanctions have become a crucial tool available to the Security Council. Although they are never an end in themselves, sanctions can be an essential instrument for preserving international peace and security in two ways.
The first is by targeting terrorist groups or individuals. Collectively, the sanctions regime against Al-Qaida and Da’esh represents more than half of the entities and individuals sanctioned by the Security Council today.
The second way is by intervening in support of States weakened by insecurity, the presence of armed groups in their territory, deficiencies in the political process, the prevalence of weapons, or human rights violations, factors that have triggered the majority of the Security Council sanctions regimes.
Sanctions regimes can make a significant contribution to advancing a political process. The adoption of targeted measures against individuals or entities impeding the peace process is an important lever for stopping such behaviour or for weakening those who do so. That was particularly the case in Côte d’Ivoire at the height of the post-election crisis there. In Somalia, the embargo on charcoal undermines one of Al-Shabaab’s sources of funding. These are just a few examples.
Implemented in the 1990s, sometimes indiscriminately, sanctions regimes have since undergone considerable change, taking into account both the humanitarian needs and the rights of individuals. In its practice, the Council has ensured that such schemes have been targeted as precisely as possible to reach the persons, entities or sectors that directly affect the stability of States, and that such schemes have no negative consequences for the population. No one can say in good faith that, in a context of active armed conflict and large-scale violence against civilians, an arms embargo is a measure that would negatively affect the population.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, it was possible to adapt the sanctions regime to changing circumstances. Introduced in 2003, the arms embargo there has been continually adjusted. Since 2008, it has only targeted non-State entities. Individual sanctions against armed groups have also had to be adapted to developments in the situation.
France also attaches great importance to strengthening respect for the rules for a fair hearing with regard to sanctions decided by the Council. Considerable progress has been made in that area, with the creation of a focal-point mechanism and, above all, the Office of the Ombudsperson in 2009. In that respect, France wishes to recall the importance of ensuring a rapid and effective transition following the departure of Ms. Marchi-Uhel, who is to take on other functions. It is essential that we continue to improve the functioning and transparency of sanctions regimes.
It is also essential that sanctions and embargoes, whether targeting arms or other products, be fully respected and implemented by all actors present in the territory to which they apply. There are often exemption mechanisms that provide flexibility for specific cases. It is necessary to remind and educate everyone of the need to respect the procedures laid down for that purpose.
France will, of course, continue to fully play its part in such efforts.