What measures are imposed as UN sanctions?
The contemporary practice of the UN Security Council is to impose highly targeted measures aimed at removing the circumstances that have led to a particular threat to, or breach of, international peace and security.
These include measures to control trade, with countries in which there exists a threat to, or breach of, international peace and security, in the kinds of goods and services (including finances) that are contributing to that situation, such as military and security goods and services, goods and services with potential application to WMD and missile programs, or items that are used to fund conflict. The measures require UN Member States to ban such trade outright, or to permit it only in specified circumstances and subject to specific conditions.
The UN Security Council also imposes measures targeted at persons or entities identified by the UN Security Council as contributing to a particular threat to, or breach of, international peace and security. The measures may require UN Member States to:
- freeze the funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories that are owned or controlled by persons or entities designated by the UN Security Council for this purpose (sanctions designated persons or entities);
- ensure that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any persons or entities within their territories, to or for the benefit of sanctions designated persons or entities; and
- prevent sanctions designated persons entering or transiting through their territories.
What kind of goods and services are subject to sanctions?
The following goods and services are currently subject to sanctions when supplied to, or procured from, specified countries.
- military or paramilitary items or items with a military or paramilitary application
- items with an application in nuclear, chemical or biological weapons programs or in the development of weapons delivery systems (such as missiles)
- technical training, advice, services or assistance (including financing and financial assistance, investment, brokering or other services, and transfer of financial resources or services) related to:
- the supply, manufacture, maintenance or use of such items;
- military activities generally
- rough diamonds
- Iraqi cultural property, other items of archaeological, historical, cultural, rare scientific, and religious importance illegally removed since August 1990.
Any person engaging in trade in any of these goods and services should examine the information contained in these websites to determine whether the trade is subject to measures under a sanctions regime.
Which persons and entities are subject to UN Security Council sanctions?
The following sanctions regimes include active targeted financial sanctions.
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- The Taliban
- Terrorism (UNSC Resolution 1373 (2001)
Any person engaging in trade with any of the countries named in the list above should examine the information contained in the relevant website for the sanctions regime to determine whether a party to the transaction is subject to targeted financial sanctions.
The following sanctions regimes have the potential to include targeted financial sanctions, but to date no persons or entities have been designated:
Iraq is subject to an asset recovery regime.
UN Security Council sanctions relating to terrorism
On 28 September 2001, in response to the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States, the UNSC adopted resolution 1373 (2001) [PDF], imposing a series of obligations on UN Member States to suppress terrorism.
Sub-paragraphs 1(c) and (d) of resolution 1373 oblige Member States to:
- (c) Freeze without delay funds and other financial assets or economic resources of persons who commit, or attempt to commit, terrorist acts or participate in or facilitate the commission of terrorist acts; of entities owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such persons; and of persons and entities acting on behalf of, or at the direction of such persons and entities, including funds derived or generated from property owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such persons and associated persons and entities;
- (d) Prohibit their nationals or any persons and entities within their territories from making any funds, financial assets or economic resources or financial or other related services available, directly or indirectly, for the benefit of persons who commit or attempt to commit or facilitate or participate in the commission of terrorist acts, of entities owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by such persons and of persons and entities acting on behalf of or at the direction of such persons; Unlike other financial sanctions regimes, the UNSC does not have a centralised list of persons and entities to which resolution 1373 applies and has left Member States to determine for themselves who such persons and entities are.
Australia implements resolution 1373 through Part 4 of the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (“the Act”) and through regulation 20 of the Charter of the United Nations (Dealing with Assets) Regulations 2008 (“the 2008 Regulations”). The Minister for Foreign Affairs must list a person or entity on a case-by-case basis if he or she is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the person or entity is associated with terrorism as described in sub-paragraph 1(c) of resolution 1373. These names are listed in the Commonwealth Gazette and it becomes a criminal offence to deal with their assets or to make assets available to them. These names are also included on DFAT's Consolidated List [Excel 1.55 MB].
More information on Australia's implementation of United Nations Security Council financial sanctions.