SC: Statement by Ambassador Herman Schaper on behalf of the group of like-minded States on targeted sanctions
Statement by H.E. Herman Schaper
Permanent Representative of the Kingdom
of the Netherlands to the United Nations
On behalf of the group of like-minded States on targeted sanctions
Open Debate Briefings 1267/1989 Committee
6862nd Meeting Security Council
New York, 14 November 2012
To begin with, I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the group of like-minded States on targeted sanctions, which has taken a specific interest in strengthening fair and clear procedures for targeted sanctions with a view to enhancing due process and making the UN sanctions regimes more effective. Our group consists of Austria, Belgium, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
Let me join others in thanking the Chairs of the three Committees for their informative briefing. As the focus of our group lies on targeted sanctions and fair and clear procedures, my remarks will concentrate on the Sanctions Committee established pursuant to Council resolution 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities.
In previous years, the Security Council has taken significant steps to enhance fair and clear procedures within the relevant Security Council Committee. In particular, the establishment and strengthening of the Ombudsperson process by Resolutions 1904 and 1989 were important steps towards an independent and effective sanctions review mechanism rendering the list of the Al-Qaida sanctions committee more accurate and more legitimate.
Nonetheless, regional and national legal challenges to the Al-Qaida sanctions regime and its implementation persist and put the uniform application of and full compliance with UN sanctions at risk. It is against this background, and with a view to the adoption of the follow-up to resolution 1989 (2011) in mid December, that we sent a letter to the President of the Council at the beginning of this month, outlining several proposals that we believe would merit close consideration by the Council in its continued efforts to improve and strengthen the system. The letter is being distributed as an annex to the written copy of this statement as I speak. In the interest of time, I will only highlight some of the proposals today.
First of all, we would like to call on all Member States to enhance the cooperation of States with the Office of the Ombudsperson for information gathering, by providing her timely with all relevant information on persons and entities applying for delisting, including confidential and classified information or declassified documents. In this regard, Member States should be encouraged to conclude confidentiality agreements and arrangements with the Ombudsperson and to abide by the time limits as set forth in Annex II of Resolution 1989 (2011).
Secondly, in the view of the group of like-minded States on targeted sanctions, improving the transparency of the delisting process is of utmost importance to increase its acceptance.
Procedural transparency can be increased if the Office of the Ombudsperson could inform the petitioner - upon request - about the state of play of his or her request for delisting where necessary to ensure the transparency of the process. Material transparency can be enhanced when all Committee decisions, regardless whether they maintain a listing or delist an individual or entity, would contain adequate and substantial reasons, which could be conveyed to the petitioner by the Ombudsperson.
Thirdly, we believe that to ensure the independence and impartiality of the Ombudsperson process, the length of the mandate of the Ombudsperson should be extended to an unlimited period. To ensure its effective functioning, the Office of the Ombudsperson should be timely provided with all resources necessary to fulfill its mandate, including funds for translation and interpretation
Finally, regarding the scope of the mandate of the Ombudsperson, only individuals and entities listed on the Al-Qaida sanctions list have currently access to the Ombudsperson process. Yet, similar due process concerns exist in other UNSC sanctions regimes. The Security Council should therefore consider the extension of the competence of the Office of the Ombudsperson to other relevant regimes on the occasion of their next mandate renewals.
We as a group believe that targeted sanctions are an important tool at the hands of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security. Their consistent implementation is crucial to achieve this goal. The group of like-minded States on targeted sanctions remains convinced that by further improving fair and clear procedures, the Security Council will render the work of its sanctions regimes more effective and legitimate. It is in this perspective that we invite the Security Council to take into consideration the suggestions by the Group of Like-Minded States on targeted sanctions.
I thank you for your attention.
NEW YORK, 14 November 2012