Australia and sanctions
Australia implements humanitarian exemption to UN Security Council sanctions in relation to the Taliban
The UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted resolution 2615 on 22 December establishing a humanitarian exemption to the UNSC sanctions regime in relation to the Taliban.
Operative paragraph (OP) 1 of resolution 2615 ‘decides that humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan are not a violation of paragraph 1(a) of resolution 2255 (2015), and that the processing and payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources, and the provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of such assistance or to support such activities are permitted’.
Pending amendment of the Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions – the Taliban) Regulation 2013 to reflect the humanitarian exemption, Australia is implementing the exemption immediately relying on section 2B of the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945. Accordingly, assistance or activities covered by OP1 of resolution 2615 do not constitute an offence under Australian sanctions laws.
Assistance or activities not covered by OP1 of resolution 2615 remain subject to Australian sanctions laws, including those implementing the UNSC sanctions regime in relation to the Taliban. They may constitute an offence under Australian sanctions laws.
OP1 of resolution 2615 also ‘strongly encourages providers relying on this paragraph to use reasonable efforts to minimise the accrual of any benefits, whether as a result of direct provision or diversion, to individuals or entities designated on the 1988 Sanctions List’. The Australian Sanctions Office expects Australians and Australian organisations to reflect that strong encouragement in their assistance and activities.
If you have any questions about the humanitarian exemption, you can contact the Australian Sanctions Office through our online portal, Pax.